Here’s one incredibly shocking number: Out of the approximately 4.1 million people employed by the federal government, only one of them was laid off in 2013 due to budget cuts, a government report shows.
That astonishing fact comes courtesy of a 224-page report from the Government Accountability Office titled “2013 Sequestration: Agencies Reduced Some Services and Investments, While Taking Certain Actions to Mitigate Effects.”
Pretty impressive, considering $85.3 billion in budget cuts were passed by Congress in 2011.
(Department of Justice) officials reported that one DOJ component — the U.S. Parole Commission — implemented a reduction in force of one employee to achieve partial savings required by sequestration in fiscal year 2013. (There’s a detailed breakdown on pages 50-51 of the report)
Everyone else escaped unscathed.
The report was originally released in March, but this went unnoticed until today when Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) sent a note to the Office of Management and Budget inquiring why more wasn’t done to cut the federal workforce, USA Today reports.
Coburn said the lack of widespread layoffs was good news for federal employees. but “devastating to the credibility of Washington politicians and administration officials who spent months – and millions of dollars – engaging in a coordinated multi-agency cabinet-level public relations campaign to scare the American people.”
Even though there weren’t layoffs, federal employees did feel the sequestration pinch. The Defense Department furloughed 640,500 employees to help save $1.2 billion. Other agencies cut back on bonuses and travel and also left vacant positions unfilled for longer than usual.
Federal contractors were hit hard and did have to lay off thousands of employees.
And how does the unemployment rate for federal employees compare to the national rate? Federal employees are usually in much better shape.
Take a look:
Note: The relatively large increase in the federal government rate during the fourth quarter of 2013 is due in part to the way some respondents answered the Bureau of Labor Statistics survey. For example, government contractors may have said they were government employees and some furloughed workers may have said they were unemployed. Via USA Today