Federal hiring of Hispanics slows, nearly flat

Hispanic representation in the federal workforce has increased just 0.2 percent in the past four years, according to new data from the Office of Personnel Management.

In its annual report on Hispanic employment in government released on Sept. 30, OPM found that the group's representation among federal civilian employees held steady at 8.0 percent in fiscal 2010 compared to the previous year. Hispanics made up 6.5 percent of federal civilian workers in fiscal 2000 and grew to 7.8 percent by fiscal 2007.

According to OPM, Hispanics made up 6.3 percent of new hires in fiscal 2010, down from 7 percent in fiscal 2009. Retention rates remain high, however, resulting in steady representation among the workforce as a whole. The report found notable declines in Hispanic hiring among the Senior Executive Service and General Schedule employees, while there was an increase among other white collar workers. During the past three years, SES-level Hispanic federal employees grew by 0.2.

Ten of 23 large agencies increased Hispanic representation in fiscal 2010, while seven reported declines. The Homeland Security Department employs the largest percentage of Hispanics at 20.8 percent of its total workforce, followed by the Social Security Administration at 14.1 percent and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at 13.7 percent. The Health and Human Services Department brought up the rear, with just 3.3 percent of its workforce identifying as Hispanic.

Jorge Ponce, co-president of the Council of Federal EEO and Civil Rights Executives, called the news "horrible," adding that no progress has been made in recent years, especially for Hispanics in top leadership positions.

"A 0.2 percent growth in three years in the Hispanic representation at the SES rank -- where decisions are made and budgets are approved -- is unacceptable," Ponce said.

A report released last month by the Center for American Progress painted a bleak picture for Hispanic representation in the SES in the coming decades. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that Latinos will make up 23 percent of civilian workers nationally in 2030, but CAP projections put them at just 6.8 percent of the government's senior executives. The gap is expected to extend through 2050, when 30 percent of the workforce will be Hispanic compared to 12.5 percent or less of the SES, the report found.

Obama administration officials recently have taken steps to boost employment of Hispanics and other minorities across government. OPM in February launched the Hispanic Council on Federal Employment, an advisory group charged with boosting Hispanic hiring, recruitment, retention and advancement in government.

According to the report, the council is working on increasing the use of internship programs, strengthening accountability, preparing Hispanics for entering the SES, and creating recruitment and communication strategies for Hispanic communities.

In addition, President Obama in August issued an executive order directing agencies to develop roadmaps for hiring, training and promoting more minorities, women, and disabled employees in an effort to diversify the federal government, particularly at the senior levels. According to OPM Director John Berry, that framework is forthcoming.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.