A new report from the Partnership for Public Service finds that the workforce attrition rate across all Federal government agencies rose to 6.1 percent for the 2021 fiscal year, up from the 5.5 percent attrition rate in FY2020.

The report looks at all government agencies including military and civilian, and finds the Department of Veterans Affairs came in with the highest attrition rate among agencies, at 7.1 percent for FY2021.

VA Secretary Denis McDonough commented, “It’s no exaggeration to say that VA employees – and all Federal employees – have been the backbone of this country during the pandemic.”

Coming in with the lowest workforce attrition rate for FY2021 was the General Services Administration (GSA), at 4.2 percent.

On the upside, the report finds that Federal employees who make up the cyber workforce and hold STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) positions had a much lower attrition rate of 5 percent in FY2021.  By contrast, employees working in health-related occupations show a 7.1 percent attrition rate.

“This finding shows that while government – like many in the private sector – struggles to recruit talent for cyber and technology roles, agencies are successfully retaining this talent to build a technically skilled workforce that will help our government innovate and develop more modernized programs, services and operations,” the report says.

The report analyzes the workforce based on age, and finds that the majority of those leaving government service were in 30-39 year age bracket. Most employees who quit were under the age of 49, while most who retired did so over the age of 50.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.