The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's annual report on the federal workforce shows that the percentage of men among federal employees dropped to 55.9 percent in fiscal year 2009, from 57.7 percent in 2000, while women increased to 44.1 percent from 42.3 percent.
Additionally, for the first time since 1995, the percentage of people with targeted disabilities in federal jobs held steady, halting a 13-year decline. Despite a modest net gain of 236 employees in 2009, people with targeted disabilities still remain below 1 percent (0.88 percent) of the total workforce.
Targeted disabilities include deafness, blindness, missing extremities, partial or complete paralysis, convulsive disorders, mental retardation, mental illness and distortion of the limb and/or spine.
The EEOC's annual report is available here.
Here are some of the highlights:
• In 2009, there were almost 2.8 million women and men employed by the federal government across the country and around the world.
• Of those, 7.9 percent were Latino, 65.6 percent were white, 18 percent were Black, 5.8 percent were Asian, 0.3 percent were Pacific Islander, 1.7 percent were American Indian and 0.7 percent were people of two or more races.
• Over the last 10 years, women, Latino, Black and Asian employees made the most gains in securing senior-level positions in the federal government, increasing their participation rates to 45.03 percent, 34.36 percent, 21.52 percent and 129.33 percent, respectively.
The annual report also finds that federal employees are filing more discrimination complaints and the EEOC has affirmed more of those complaints as illegal discrimination.
The rise in 2009 over the previous year is not big, but it is significant because it represents the second year of an increase, reversing what has been a decade of steady declines.
Federal employees filed 16,947 complaints in fiscal year 2009, alleging employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability and reprisal—195 more cases than in 2008, according to the new EEOC report. The increase is smaller than the previous year's increase: In 2008, there were 584 more discrimination complaints than in 2007.
Unlike the private sector, federal agencies themselves are responsible for processing and investigating charges of discrimination filed against them. Among the findings:
- The average processing time for conducting investigations rose from 180 days in 2008 to 185 days in 2009
- The average processing time for closing complaints was 344 days, an increase from 336 days in 2008
- Of the 6,905 cases closed on the merits, 2.98 percent resulted in findings of unlawful discrimination
- The parties entered into settlements in 3,394 complaints, or 21 percent of the total complaint closures