The federal government’s human-resources department will lay off 300 of its employees in March due to budget constraints and a slowdown in federal hiring that has left the agency with less work in certain areas.

Office of Personnel Management headquarters. (Wikimedia Commons.)

The Office of Personnel Management said it needs to reduce staff at its Human Resources Solutions office by more than half, in part because the division is terminating its Nationwide Testing Program, which helps screen job candidates for other agencies.

An OPM official told Federal News Radio, which first reported the development in an article on Wednesday, that the current budget environment, coupled with less federal hiring and training, contributed to the decision.

OPM has alerted chief human capital officers across the government that a new pool of veteran federal workers will be available for new job openings as a result of the planned layoffs.

OPM’s 2014 budget plan calls for a $2.2-million reduction in salaries and expenses. Last year, the agency offered buyouts for 300 employees across 14 divisions. Information about the number of workers who departed as a result of that action was not immediately available on Thursday afternoon.

Federal employment, including the Postal Service, declined by 80,000 jobs in 2013, and the government is projected to shed another 314,000 workers by 2022, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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