2013 budget: Staffing levels remain mostly flat

Monday - 2/13/2012, 9:07pm EST

The size of the federal government — and particularly the federal workforce — has been an issue of political discussion for the past couple years.

But amid everything else in the official 2013 budget request unveiled Monday, the overall size of the federal government, in terms of staffing levels, would remain relatively constant.

Part of the 2013 budget request provides concrete details about current staffing levels at each agency as well as estimated staffing levels for 2013. Overall, the White House 2013 budget would add 2,400 new positions across more than 25 agencies and departments.

However, agency by agency the numbers vary widely. The Treasury Department is due for an increase of 3.3 percent — which would bring its workforce to more than 111,000. Similarly, the Securities and Exchange Commission will see 600 positions added, an increase of 15.4 percent for the smaller agency.

On the other hand, the Broadcasting Board of Governors is set to lose about 100 positions, which is 5 percent of its workforce, while the Office of Personnel Management's staffing levels are projected to decrease by 400 positions — a 7 percent cut.

(Below is an agency-by-agency chart of estimated staffing levels for 2012, compared to the budget's 2013 projections. Numbers are approximate.)

Cabinet-level agencies

Agency

Number of full-time employees

2013 estimate 2012 estimate Difference Percent change
Agriculture 92,300 93,300 -1,000 -1.1 percent
Commerce 42,000 40,500 1,500 3.7 percent
Defense 756,800 764,300 -7,500 -1.0 percent
Education 4,300 4,300 0 0 percent
Energy 16,400 16, 500 -100 -0.6 percent
Health and Human Services 71,500 70,100 1,400 2.0 percent
Homeland Security 188,900 187,500 1,400 0.7 percent
Housing and Urban Development 9,400 9,400 0 0 percent
Interior 69,800 70,400 -600 -0.9 percent
Justice 118,600 117,900 700 0.6 percent
Labor 17,400 17,400 0 0 percent
State 32,500 32,400 100 0.3 percent
Transportation 57,900 57,700 200 0.3 percent
Treasury 111,800 108,200 3,600 3.3 percent
Veterans Affairs 306,600 302,300 4,300 1.4 percent

Independent agencies

Agency

Number of full-time employees

2013 estimate 2012 estimate Difference Percent change
Broadcasting Board of Governors 1,900 2,000 100 -5.0 percent
Environmental Protection Agency 17,100 17,100 0 0 percent
General Services Administration 13,000 13,200 -2,00 -1.5 percent
NASA 18,200 18,400 -2,00 -1.1 percent
National Archives and Records Administration 3,300 3,300 0 0 percent
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 3,900 4,000 -1,00 -2.5 percent
Office of Personnel Management 5,300 5,700 -400 -7.0 percent
Securities and Exchange Commission 4,500 3,900 600 15.4 percent
Small Business Administration 3,400 3,400 0 0 percent
Social Security Administration 63,400 65,400 -2,000 -3.1 percent

RELATED STORIES

Tightening budgets renew OMB's push for IT project oversight

White House doesn't support sequestration, sees it as forcing function

2013 budget: Agency-by-agency breakdown

Pay raise, increased retirement contributions in President's FY2013 budget request

DoD budget would quadruple TRICARE fees for higher-earning retirees

Full budget (pdf)