Even as Democrats and federal employee unions battle the Bush Administration’s proposal to put thousands of federal jobs up for competition with the private sector, the number of jobs created through contracts and grants has reached its highest level since before the end of the Cold War, according to a new report authored by Paul C. Light, of New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
New estimates project that federal contracts and grants generated just over 8 million jobs in 2002, up from just under 7 million in 1999, and 7.5 million in 1990.
When these hidden, “off-budget” jobs are added to the “on-budget” headcount composed of civil service, uniformed military personnel, and postal service jobs, the “true” size of the federal workforce stood at 12.1 million in October, 2002, up from 11 million in October 1999. The 2002 true size of government is still smaller than it was at the end of the Cold War in 1990, but is only smaller because of a reduction of nearly 1 million civil service and uniformed military jobs over the 1990s, almost all of which were cut at the Departments of Defense and Energy, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
A copy of the report, which was released jointly by Wagner and the Center for Public Service at The Brookings Institution, can be found on the NYU Wagner Web site: www.nyu.edu/wagner/truesize.