Impact of Sequestration: One Layoff

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By on May 7, 2014 in Current Events with 0 Comments
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According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office, only one federal employee was laid off due to the recent sequestration budget cuts.

According to the report, “DOJ officials reported that one DOJ component—the U.S. Parole Commission—implemented a reduction in force of one employee to achieve partial savings required by sequestration in fiscal year 2013.”

While this is good news for federal employees overall, that does not mean that impacts of sequestration were not felt in other ways. There were many temporary furloughs that varied in size and scope by agency.  GAO notes in its report that seven of the agencies it reviewed furloughed a combined total of more than 770,000 federal employees for 1 to 7 days. The bulk of the furloughs were at the Department of Defense which furloughed a total of 640,500 workers.

The table below shows some additional statistics from the GAO report about furloughs at the agencies it surveyed. (Click on the image to view it at full size)

reduction in force due to sequestration. Please list any impacted positions, by fiscal year, position title and pay scale.

  • Please provide electronic copies of any memoranda, guidance, or other documentation circulated by OMB advising federal agencies how to manage their federal workforces in response to sequestration.
  • What are the legal obstacles, if any, that hinder the executive agencies from making further reductions in workforce levels as they work to increase efficiency?
  • What is OMB’s timeline for implementing GAO’s recommendation that OMB publish the criteria used to determine the exemption status of program, projects, and activities?
  • I know we share the goal of ensuring federal resources are used as effectively as possible, and I look forward to working with your office to address these questions.


    Tom A. Coburn

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    About the Author

    Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.