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News Release

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Contact: OPM Office of Communications
Tel: (202) 606-2402

OPM Releases Veteran Employment Data

Hiring opportunities for veterans in FY 2016 continued to improve throughout Federal Executive Branch of Government

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has released the Employment of Veterans in the Federal Executive Branch report for FY 2016, and the Government-wide data continues to be positive. In FY16, more than 71,000 veterans entered civil service, increasing the total number of veterans to 635,266 in the Federal Government. That number adds up to 11,000+ more veterans employed by the Executive Branch agencies compared to the previous year.

Data on veteran employment has been published by OPM every year since Executive Order 13518 Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government and the Veterans Employment Initiative (VEI) was established in 2009. Federal agencies have used the VEI to meet many of their mission critical staffing needs, while benefitting from the skills, training, and dedication veterans, transitioning service members and their families bring to Federal service.

Veterans now represent approximately one-third (31.1 percent) of the total U.S. Federal workforce, marking a five percentage point rise since the initiative was implemented in 2009. The retention rates for veterans are encouraging as well, with many agencies retaining newly hired veterans at rates near those of their non-veteran employees.

The VEI is governed by an Interagency Council on Veterans Employment, comprised of the Federal Government’s 24 largest departments and agencies that provide the VEI with overall vision and strategic direction. The Council is co-chaired by the Secretaries of Labor and Veterans Affairs, with the Director of OPM serving as Vice-Chair.

OPM’s critical leadership role on the Council has steadied the direction and strength of this initiative,” said Acting OPM Director Kathleen McGettigan. “The Veterans Employment Initiative in FY 2016 has achieved great success and I look forward to the strong collaboration of Council members and its Steering Committee for continued success in the return on investment of hiring our nation’s veterans as we move forward,” said McGettigan.

"It has been very encouraging to see more opportunities for veteran hires to significantly address the critical staffing needs the Federal government faces,” said Hakeem Basheerud-Deen, OPM’s Director of Veterans Services and Executive Director of the Council. “OPM continues to support the Veterans Employment Initiative. We remain committed to offering opportunities for Federal agencies to learn about the benefits of making skillful use of the veteran hiring authorities to meet hiring needs. We will also continue to provide Federal agencies with suggestions for best practices, such as the benefits of continuous feedback from individuals actively engaged in the veteran hiring process and how such engagement will help the Initiative to continually evolve to meet the needs of Federal agencies and veterans,” said Basheerud-Deen.

View the complete Employment of Veterans in the Federal Executive Branch report.

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OPM leads and serves the federal government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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