In the last couple of weeks, I have heard from three people facing layoffs in the federal government. Two are employees. One is in a department that is going to lay off about 8 of 25 workers in the new fiscal year, because their budget went down that much. The second is in a smaller department with fewer layoffs. Apparently there are people calling from other departments because they are in the same boat, looking for a new department. None have official notice yet, as far as I know, but I expect that will arrive at the end of March.
Granted, the larger department might have lost some positions even if the new budget was not cutting jobs, but the message is clear: lots of departments are losing payroll next year.
My other caller was a contractor with a contract renewal at the end of February, expecting to renew until June or July, but the contract is “slow” coming back. Given the employee news, are the contractors likely to be renewed? Some would say yes, but I am not optimistic. I think the contractors will be hitting the streets real soon now, looking for private sector work.
The employees apparently have contracts that allow them some period of months looking for a job in another department before their pay ends. Some of these people will not look to the private sector for some time, so the flood of former government employees may not hit for months, may in fact be a trickle over a year or more. Yeah, that would be great!
Good luck to all those affected, including you and me.