The percentage of Hispanics continues to increase among newly hired federal employees, and also as a share of the government workforce, but that group remains underrepresented in the federal workplace, according to a report issued Monday.
The percentage of Hispanics among new hires in federal agencies rose from 7.0 to 7.5 percent over 2013-2014, and they now make up 8.4 percent of the federal workforce, the Office of Personnel Management said.
The on-board percentage has increased steadily from 6.5 percent in 2000, following initiatives by the current and prior administrations to reach out to the Hispanic community in recruiting efforts.
Among the 24 largest departments and agencies, 19 increased their percentage of Hispanic employees, none posted declines and five were unchanged from 2013 to 2014, OPM said.
“The data shows that we continue to make steady progress in improving the representation of Hispanics in Federal service. The numbers also indicate that agencies that have made the recruitment and retention of Hispanics an important part of hiring and inclusion have shown more progress,” acting OPM director Beth Cobert said in a blog post.
The Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration have the highest percentages of Hispanics, 21.2 and 15.1 percent, and also the highest percentages of newly hired employees, 18.3 and 13.3 percent.
The report said the federal workforce is now 64.6 percent white, 19.3 percent black, 8.4 percent Hispanic, 6 percent Asian/Pacific Islander and 1.7 percent American Indian/Alaskan Native.
The report did not contain figures on the American workforce as a whole, although a separate demographic report by OPM in early 2014 said that whites make up 65.4 percent of the civilian labor force, blacks 10.1 percent, Hispanics 14.2 percent, Asian/Pacific Islanders 4.9 percent and American Indian/Alaskan Natives 0.9 percent—with the remainder in that count identified as multi-racial.
The earlier report noted that the percentage of Hispanics in the overall American workforce drops to 10.8 percent when only U.S. citizens are counted; citizenship generally is a requirement for a federal job.
Among the Senior Executive Service, the highest level attainable by most career employees, Hispanic representation was 4.4 percent in 2014, up from 4.1 percent in 2013, with new hires increasing from 3.5 to 5.5 percent.