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Makeup of federal workforce has changed in past decade, data show

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The makeup of the federal workforce has been changing along with that of the American workforce as a whole over the past decade, although some differences between the two have remained fairly constant, according to data the government released Friday.

In comparison with the overall workforce, the federal workforce is slightly more male and slightly less white: The federal workforce is 43.6 percent female and 65.9 percent white, compared with 46 and 70 percent, respectively, in the overall workforce.

Among demographic groups, Hispanics remained the most underrepresented in federal jobs as of fiscal 2011, which ended Sept. 30. Hispanics made up 8.1 percent of the federal workforce, compared with 13.6 percent in the overall workforce, a gap that has been consistent for years. In 2002, 6.9 percent of the federal workforce was Hispanic, compared with 12.2 percent of the overall workforce, and in 2007 the figures were 7.8 percent and 13.3 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the percentages of blacks in the federal workforce and in the overall workforce have held roughly steady. African Americans make up 17.8 percent of the federal workforce, the same as in 2007 and up from 17.6 percent in 2002. The percentage in the overall workforce was 10.4 in 2002 and 10.1 in both 2007 and 2011.

The percentage of Asian/Pacific Islanders in the federal workforce rose from 4.5 to 5.3 to 5.6 percent in that time, while the percentage in the overall workforce rose from 4 to 4.3 to 4.4 percent. Native Americans make up about 2 percent of the federal workforce, more than double their representation in the overall workforce, ratios that have changed little over a decade. Non-Hispanic multiracial employees account for the rest, about 1 percent.

The numbers changed relatively little from 2010 to 2011, with the percentage of men rising — and the percentage of women dropping — by 0.3 percentage points. The white percentage also dropped by 0.3 percentage points, while there were 0.1 percentage point increases among blacks, Hispanics and non-Hispanic multiracial employees.

The report notes that the government has several initiatives underway, including a program to promote diversity and inclusiveness, a council to promote hiring, retention and advancement of Hispanics, and programs that seek to boost the hiring of the disabled and veterans. Programs for recruiting students and recent graduates were overhauled recently.

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