Federal employment projected to drop through 2022

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The federal workforce is likely to shrink by about 13 percent over the next nine years, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics projections.

Already, federal employment including the Postal Service has declined by 80,000 jobs in 2013, the latest BLS jobs report said. But the agency expects the government to shed another 314,000 workers by 2022.

MORE: Federal employment dropped again in December, capping year of loss

People cross a street in downtown Washington, DC on Oct. 17, one day after the deal to reopen the government. (Jewel Samad/AFP-Getty). People cross a street in downtown Washington, DC on Oct. 17, one day after the deal to reopen the government. (Jewel Samad/AFP-Getty).

Overall, the federal government employed about 2.7 million workers as of December 2013. By 2022, the BLS projects that number will drop to 2.4 million workers.

The federal workforce is projected to shrink as a percentage of all jobs as well, dropping from 1.9 percent of employment in 2012 to 1.5 percent in 2022, according to BLS figures.

The federal government is one of five industry sectors in which the BLS expects an employment drop. The others categories include: manufacturing; agriculture; forestry, fishing and hunting; information; and utilities.

The projections suggest goods-producing jobs will increase by about 6.5 percent by 2022, but that sector will shrink as a percentage of overall employment by then, dropping half a percentage point in that respect.

The service sector is expected to grow by 12.2 percent during that span, taking up one percentage point more of overall employment.

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail at  josh.hicks@washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics for more federal news. E-mail federalworker@washpost.com with news tips and other suggestion.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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Josh Hicks · January 22, 2014