While many industries were forced to downsize over the past few tough years, the government found a way to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the federal government increased its workforce by 12 percent since the start of the recession in December 2007. Meanwhile, overall employment has fallen almost 5 percent in that span.
MSNBC reports the executive branch has seen a significant gain, piling on 275,000 workers since September 2007 — nearly a 15 percent increase. The Department of Veterans Affairs has added 60,000 jobs in that span and the Department of Homeland Security has tacked on 31,000 employees.
It appears that government could start to feel the bite of layoffs and attrition in the next couple years. Congress enacted budget-cutting legislation mandates $54 billion in spending cuts beginning in 2013 if a deficit reduction committee can’t find a way to up revenues and slash budget outlays. Reader Allison notes that the federal government has recently shed 2,000 jobs.