Trump's Budget Proposes Staffing Increases at All But 2 Cabinet-Level Agencies

Agency-by-agency job gains (or losses) under the White House’s 2020 request.

In a sharp reversal from recent years, President Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget would increase employment at all but two Cabinet-level agencies, according to details released on Monday.

The Agriculture and Interior departments would still see slight reductions in full-time equivalent employees, figures in the Analytical Perspectives section of the budget proposal showed. Agriculture would shed 2,100 jobs in 2020 for a 2.4 percent reduction over the estimate for this year, while Interior would lose 1,400 full-time positions for a 2.2 percent decrease.

All other Cabinet-level departments, however, would see increases in employees under the request. The majority of these increases would be less than 2 percent, but the Commerce Department, which houses the Census Bureau, would see a 116.6 percent staff increase. The Homeland Security Department would gain 12,800 employees for 6.8 percent growth and the Veterans Affairs Department would bring on 13,800 new employees for a 3.6 percent increase in its workforce.

Overall, the civilian federal workforce would grow by 4 percent, or 85,000 employees under the fiscal 2020 proposal. Last year’s budget proposal also would have resulted in a slight overall increase in civilian employment (of 0.5 percent), but a handful of agencies would have driven the increase while 10 Cabinet agencies would have seen cuts.

Smaller agencies would not fare as well as the Cabinet level agencies under Trump’s fiscal 2020 request. The Environmental Protection Agency—long a target for reductions by the Trump administration—would receive a 14.7 percent reduction in staff. This is still much smaller than the nearly 25 percent decrease Trump proposed last year for EPA. The Office of Personnel Management would lose all of its staff, reflecting a plan to dismantle the agency and move its functions into the General Services Administration, White House and Defense Department.

The chart below shows the projected staff increases and decreases by agency: