How Many Federal Employees Are Leaving Government Service?

By on August 14, 2014 3:08 PM in Current Events with 0 Comments
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Updated: January 15, 2017 5:03 PM

Image showing quit date on calendar

A new report from the Partnership for Public Service shows that more than 114,000 people left the federal government in 2013, mostly through retirements. The report breaks down the demographics among departing employees along areas such as reasons for leaving government employment, pay grades of departing employees, and which ethnic groups had the largest number of departures from government.

The number of employees annually leaving the federal government increased from a low of 83,317 in 2009 to 115,661 in 2012 and leveled off at 114,354 in 2013. At the same time, the number of new employees hired by the government declined every year since 2009. Retirements were the biggest reason for departure (54.2%) while resignations made up 34.5%.

The largest number of employees who left federal service in 2013 were working at the GS-12 level, although entry-level employees made up a larger percentage of departures than they currently make up in the overall workforce—42.5 percent compared to 33.7 percent. Attrition rates were highest among the Senior Executive Service (SES) (11.3%) and among entry-level employees (7.6%).

The full report is included below which offers a more in-depth look at the results of the analysis on workforce departures.

2014 Federal Departures

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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.