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Veterans employees in the federal government

By Ed O'Keefe

As Veterans Day week comes to a close, here's one final look at veterans employment in the government, according to figures released Thursday by the Office of Personnel Management.

The percentage of vets in the federal government basically remained flat from fiscal year 2004 to 2008, notes The Post's Joe Davidson. Read the whole report here, and as you can see below, there were some big jumps in the past three fiscal years.

Veterans in Federal Workforce vs. Civilian Labor Force FY 2008

Federal Workforce Civilian Workforce
All Veterans 25.5% 8.3%
Disabled Veterans 6.0% 0.8%
30% or More Disabled Veterans 3.4% 0.3%

SOURCE: Office of Personnel Management

Employment in the Federal Workforce: Total On-Board Employees

FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008
Total Employees 1,803,055 1,811,459 1,886,720
Total Veterans 457,965 462,744 481,223
% of All Employees 25.4% 25.5% 25.5%
Veterans with Preference 410,434 414,010 431,015
% of All Employees 22.8% 22.9% 22.8%
% of All Veterans 89.6% 89.5% 89.4%
Disabled Veterans 97,828 103,180 112,946
% of All Employees 5.4% 5.7% 6.0%
% of All Veterans 21.4% 22.3% 23.5%
30% + Disabled Veterans 51,389 56,077 64,046
% of All Employees 2.9% 3.1% 3.4%
% of All Veterans 11.2% 12.1% 13.3%

SOURCE: Office of Personnel Management

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 13, 2009; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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As a veteran blacklisted in my field of employment because of honorable military service in Vietnam, I have seen the phony reports of the Office of Personnel Management before. First, agencies lie about the number of veterans they employ. Recently, the U.S. Geological Survey alleged to have hired two preference-eligible veterans in selections about which I had filed appeals. I succeeded in obtaining a copy of the DD Form-214 of one of them, and he clearly was not eligible for preference. The agency then doctored the TP (5-point preference) from his application material before submitting it to the Merit System Protection Board. The agency refused to release the records of the other, who seems to have served in the National Guard, briefing family members about deaths in Vietnam. One witness for the agency was also serving in the National Guard while his unit was called upon to stand by in case of domestic unrest. He stated that he does not know whether or not he is a bona fide veteran, although I am sure that his agency is counting him as one. The second objection is that the records cover up the underemployment of veterans. When I obtained the records of the U.S. Forest Service in 1999, I noted that almost all of its veterans were clustered at the pay grades from GS-5 to GS-7. At the time, most Vietnam vets were at an age when they should have been receiving the maximum salaries of their working lives. The pay at these grades is very poor and usually reserved for beginners in the civil service. In other words, severe underemployment of veterans is the general rule. Finally, the seemingly high percentage of veterans in the civil service is the result of particularly large numbers of veterans being employed by the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, other Department of Defense agencies, and the Department of Transportation. Most of the other agencies have persentages of veterans among their employees below even the percentage in the civilian work force. The Departments of Education and State employ extremely few veteran. So do most independent agencies. Years ago, the U.S. Department of Labor developed the rule that only jobs paying less than $25,000 per year should be classified as "suitable for veterans." Although that rule was criticized in reports to Congress, that limitation still seems to be maintained by the Office of Personnel Management.

Posted by: cwheckman | November 16, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

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