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Federal Employees News Digest : May 20, 2013
How do you project the broader econ- omy will shake out, and how does the Congress figure into that? Fuller: Improvement—and even some upward wage pressure as there is compe- tition for younger workers. Importantly, interest rates are expected to grow slowly and stay in the low 4 percent range for quite some time—maybe a quarter point rise not before 2014, and not much high- er until like late 2015 or beyond. And, by then, the balance of federal spending will be reestablished along with improve- ment in the economy. Unless we get into another war that discombobulates the whole business! OK, and how do you think the D.C. area specifically will fare, versus the rest of the country? Our readers live in both situations. Fuller: Well, 21 percent of total U.S. government procurement dollars come through the D.C. area, which has only 4.6 percent of the nation’s population. So, those of us here should be very worried, in theory. We’re benefiting very much from all this payroll and procurement. But on the other hand, the money spent in the capital area is much less discretionary, really, than what’s spent in other areas. It’s hard to operate a lot of the management of the federal government without these local expenditures. We may have about 12 percent of the federal workforce—but just as people think, the headquarters feels the cuts last! We’re more vulnerable than areas with few feds, but on a pro- portional basis we may be less vulnerable than regional centers of federal spending. If I were with NASA in Houston, I might be more worried than if I were with that agency in the D.C. area. The military also tells me much of their cuts will come else- where. DOD is an easy agency to find this effect: they cut aircraft purchases before they say ‘hey, we don’t need an upgrade to our personnel management system.’ I think we’re going to see more of this in 2014. So, proportionally less impact in Washington. What’s likely in future years for per- sonnel cost savings in the federal gov- ernment, across all geographic areas— Washington and elsewhere? Fuller: More specifically, strate- gic spending reductions. Agencies have already taken the fat out of their workforce, through attrition and managed personnel shifts. There isn’t much slack left. They’ll have to cut services if they cut personnel. So they are going to achieve further savings by trying to keep the workforce levels they have, while letting the older workers retire and hiring younger, less expensive workers at lower grades. They are repositioning the workforce at a lower payroll. May 20, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 42 4 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com continued from page 3 continued on page 5 2013AlmanacFederalEmployees 2013 Federal Employees Almanac Your One-Stop Resource on Federal Benefits Single copies start as low as $23.95 www.FederalDaily.com/catalog • 800.989.3363 Celebrating 60 Years of the Almanac! Printcopies25%offforaLimitedTime–OrderToday!EntercodeM35SAVEatcheckoutandpressApplyPrintcopies25%offforaLimitedTime–OrderToday!EntercodeM35SAVEatcheckoutandpressApply Half_page_instock.indd 1 5/14/13 11:26 AM
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