Government lost 5,000 jobs in May

Internal Revenue Service headquarters, where they cut employment by 6 percent last year. Internal Revenue Service headquarters, where they cut employment by 6 percent last year. Flickr user cliff1066

New employment numbers released Friday show a shrinking federal workforce.

Federal employment in May dipped by 5,000 workers from April, to 2.8 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number is down from the same period in 2011, when the federal government employed 2.87 million workers.

The BLS numbers are seasonally adjusted and include employees from the workforce-hammered U.S. Postal Service. The figures were confirmed by Kara Sullivan, an economist at the bureau.

The numbers continue a downward trend in the federal workforce: 2,000 jobs disappeared in April, as well. Seasonally adjusted, federal jobs have decreased for eight months in a row. (The workforce remained relatively stagnant between September and October 2011.)

This continues the longest sustained decline in the federal workforce in more than a decade, according to USA Today.

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