While the U.S. job outlook continues to slowly make ground, the government sector – and most notably the federal government – is continuing a steady decline in jobs due to ongoing federal budget cuts.
Government agencies have shed 105,406 jobs this year, the most of any other sector, according to outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
In August, government agencies announced plans to cut 18,426 workers from their payrolls, which is nearly double the 9,389 job cuts announced in the sector in July. It is also the second largest job cut month of the year for the government, behind the 19,099 job cuts in March.
The loss in government jobs during August was primarily due to federal job cuts, whereas in the past the cuts came from state and local agencies, according to the consulting firm. “Instead, the federal level led the way with heavy reductions among the civilian and officer ranks across three branches of the military,” said Challenger in a release. “More workforce reductions at the federal level are undoubtedly coming down the road.”
Federal job cuts will continue through the rest of this year and into next, culminating with the heaviest cuts in 2014, Challenger said. The defense sector is facing $350 billion in security spending cuts over the next decade, with a big part of that expected to be in personnel cuts.
While the private sector fared better, it is still hampered by low consumer and business spending. “Government surveys of employers show that they are hiring more than four million new workers per month,” Challenger said. “It just so happens that employers are losing about four million workers each month to layoffs, terminations, retirements and other voluntary and involuntary departures.” In another employment report by ADP, private sector employers added 91,000 workers in August, down from the 109,000 jobs added in July.
The top five reasons for cutting jobs were cost-cutting, restructuring, closing, economic conditions and labor disputes for the year-to-date and the month of August, according to Challenger.