Coburn: Average New Hire Equates to One Week Furlough for 52 Federal Workers

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has sent a second letter to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget saying that applying the cost of the average annual salary of a new federal position could potentially avoid furloughs for 52 current federal workers in essential positions.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has sent a second letter to Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Jeffrey Zients calling out unnecessary federal job openings in the face of cuts from sequestration.

Coburn says in the letter that based on the average annual salary of a newly hired federal worker, furloughs for as many as 52 current federal workers in essential positions could be avoided.

“While some of these positions may be essential to the mission of the agency, others plainly are not,” wrote Coburn. “In addition to these jobs posted after sequestration went into effect, there are many vacancies for federal jobs that are still available and closing after March 4. According to OMB, the average annual salary for a government employee is around $76,000. This means that the average new hire equates to a one week furlough for 52 current government employees. If these nonessential positions are not filled, it would provide resources to avoid furloughs for some mission-critical positions.”

Examples of the job positions Coburn cites in his letter include librarians, historians, social media management service, and recreation aids.

Coburn has already sent one letter to OMB urging cutbacks for unnecessary job openings, and he also recently sent a letter to USDA suggesting that the agency cancel two scheduled conferences with wine tasting receptions.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.