That compares with 2.1 million federal employees outside the self-funded U.S. Postal Service and the intelligence agencies.
He said the Defense Department accounts for the most contractor employees, 2.5 million. Of them, about 1 million provide direct services and the rest work for companies that provide weapons and other items. The department has about 730,000 civilian federal workers.
Next are the Departments of Energy (261,000), Health and Human Services (217,000) and Homeland Security (190,000), he said, and the Labor Department has a notably high ratio of contractors to federal employees, about 43,000 to about 15,000.