Terry Jeffrey

In a report released last year, "Common Characteristics of the Government 2012," OPM published a table listing the gender composition of a subset of the federal civilian labor force it calls "non-seasonal full-time permanent" employees. This group, according to OPM, "includes all employees working a 40-hour work week year round with no absolute end date."

The female share in this group was even smaller than female share in the overall civilian federal workforce. In fiscal 2008, the year before Obama took office, there were 1,673,249 non-seasonal full-time permanent federal workers. Of these, 13 had an unspecified gender, 947,808 or about 56.6 percent were male, and 725,428 or about 43.4 percent were female.

In 2012, according to the OPM, there were 1,850,311 non-seasonal full-time permanent federal workers. Of these, none had an "unspecified" gender, 1,060,226 or about 57.3 percent were male, and 790,085 or 42.7 percent were female.

That is 4.2 points lower than the approximately 46.9 percent female share of the national civilian labor force in 2012.

The OPM data also indicates that women have a larger share of lower-paying jobs in the federal workforce.

In 2013, among federal workers whose salary level was between $30,000 and $39,999, approximately 51.9 percent were female and 48.1 percent were male. Among federal workers whose salary level was between $40,000 and $49,999, approximately 51 percent were male and 49 percent were female.

But among federal workers whose salary level was between $100,000 and $109,999, about 60 percent were male and 40 percent were female. And among federal workers who earned $180,000 and above, about 68 percent were male and 32 percent were female.

Nonetheless, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there is still a smaller pay differential between men and women in "similar positions" in the government than between men and women in similar positions in the private sector.

Perhaps our entire economy would work better, and American families would have an easier time paying their own way, if the entire federal government was downsized -- while treating all its remaining employees in an equitable and merit-based fashion.

That, however, is unlikely to be one of the options entertained by President Obama's summit on working families.


Terry Jeffrey

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSNews

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