Federal Civilian Employment, Pay, and Benefits

May 1, 1969

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Research Publication No. 20

ForewordThere are now more than 12 million paid civilian public employees in the United States. Local government employment, including employees of school systems, accounts for more than one-half of the total. However, the Federal government is the nation’s largest single employer, public or private, with over 3,000,000 civilian employees.

Total Federal personnel costs – civilian and military – will approach $49 billion in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1970. Payroll costs obviously are a major element in Federal expenditures, as evidenced by the fact that Congress found it necessary to write a civilian employment ceiling into the spending control provisions of the Revenue and Expenditure Control Act of 1968.

With more than 80 percent of Federal civilian employees stationed in the 50 states, Federal employment and pay policies and practices may also have an impact on state and local government employment and costs.

Increases in Federal civilian employment are indicative of the expansion in the scope of government operations, characterized by the establishment of more than 100 new Federal programs over the last dozen years. In addition, the increasingly complex and technical aspects of many job requirements have resulted in the Federal government’s becoming a major competitor for top-level talent in many fields.

These and other considerations suggest that an examination of Federal personnel and pay policies, and their possible future implications, may be of interest to citizens and officials alike.


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