The percentages of veterans by two separate measures of the federal workforce — as a total headcount and as the “core” workforce of non-seasonal, full-time permanent employees—remained about flat in the latest accounting from OPM.
By the former measure, the percentage fell from 31.1 to 31 percent in the fiscal year 2018 from the prior years while by the latter measure it rose from 32.9 to 33 percent.
Among new hires, the share of veterans fell from 28.1 to 27.7 percent across the entire workforce and from 39.4 to 37.8 percent among non-seasonal, full-time permanent employees.
The number of veterans rose by about 800 to about 634,200 while the overall workforce total, by the measure used in the report, rose by about 13,000 to about 2,047,500. Percentages vary widely by agency, however; among major agencies, they ranged from 47.2 at DoD, 36.7 at Transportation, and 31.8 at VA to 7.6 at HHS, 8.5 at NSF, and 8.8 at EPA.
Among veterans, 86 percent qualify for preference in hiring and RIF protections, 46 percent have disabled veterans status and 29 percent are deemed 30 percent or more disabled, making them eligible for additional hiring preferences. Eighty percent of veterans in the overall workforce are male, compared with 45.6 percent of non-veterans.
The report however showed that veterans continue to have a lower retention rate — as measured by those who remain with the government for at least two years after being hired — than the overall workforce, up to one and a half times for non-vets by some measures. (No government-wide figure was presented but with only a few exceptions that was the consistent pattern in a listing by the individual agency.)