The Federal Workforce:

Additional Insights Could Enhance Agency Efforts Related to Hispanic Representation

GAO-06-832: Published: Aug 17, 2006. Publicly Released: Sep 20, 2006.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Yvonne D. Jones
(202) 512-9095
jonesy@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Hispanic representation in the federal workforce has historically been lower than in the Civilian Labor Force (CLF). Understanding factors affecting representation is important to developing and maintaining a high-quality and inclusive workforce. In this report, GAO identifies and analyzes factors affecting Hispanic representation in the federal workforce, examines oversight roles of EEOC and OPM, and provides illustrations of selected federal agencies' efforts with respect to Hispanic representation. GAO constructed a multivariate logistic regression model, with advice from experts, to determine how factors affected the likelihood of Hispanics and non-Hispanics being in the federal versus nonfederal workforce. GAO's analyses are not intended to and do not show the existence or absence of discrimination in the federal workforce.

U.S. citizenship and educational attainment had the greatest effect, of the measurable factors we identified, on Hispanic representation in the federal workforce. Our statistical model showed that when accounting for citizenship, required for most federal employment, Hispanics were nearly as likely as non-Hispanics to be employed in the federal workforce, relative to the nonfederal workforce (the portion of the CLF excluding federal employees). In addition, the federal workforce has a greater proportion of occupations that require higher levels of education than the CLF. When we compared citizens with similar levels of education, Hispanics were more likely than non-Hispanics to be employed in the federal workforce relative to the nonfederal workforce. Other factors in our model, including age, gender, race, veteran's status, English proficiency, and geography (state where employed), had a more limited or almost no effect on the likelihood of Hispanics being in the federal workforce. In addition to reporting and comparing representation levels overall and in subsets of the federal workforce to the CLF, EEOC and OPM require that agencies analyze their own workforces. However, the CLF benchmarks of representation that EEOC, OPM, and the agencies use do not differentiate between citizens and noncitizens, and therefore do not identify how citizenship affects the pool of persons qualified to work for the federal government. Where these analyses identify differences in representation, EEOC, for example, requires agencies to determine if there are barriers to participation and develop strategies to address them. OPM provides resources and guidance to assist agencies in implementing human capital strategies. Through these efforts, OPM has promoted the use of student employment programs as a source of qualified candidates. Analyzing agency use of these programs, including the extent to which agencies convert participants to permanent employment, could provide OPM with valuable information to assist agencies in maximizing the use of these programs in their strategic workforce planning. The agencies we reviewed use a variety of approaches to address Hispanic representation, including recruiting at colleges and universities with large Hispanic populations, publicizing employment opportunities in Hispanic media, reaching out to Hispanic communities and Hispanic-serving organizations, and using student employment, internship, career development, and training programs. For example, the U.S. Air Force partners with vocational-technical schools to develop aircraft maintenance technicians, and staff at selected National Aeronautics and Space Administration facilities mentor and tutor students to encourage careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendations for Executive Action

    Recommendation: The Director of OPM and the Chair of EEOC should work with other Consortium agencies and the Census Bureau to incorporate citizenship data into the 2010 Census Special EEO File and incorporate such data into analyses under MD-715, FEORP, and Executive Order No. 13171.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

    Status: Open

    Comments: At the direction of Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Department of Justice and Department of Labor, citizenship tables were included by the Census Bureau into its 2006-2010 Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation (formally known as the Census Special EEO File), which was released on November 29, 2012. According to OPM correspondence dated August 13, 2013, OPM and EEOC agreed that the 2010 EEO Tabulation would be the sole source of citizenship data, that OPM would not include a civilian labor force comparison in its Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Recruitment Program and Hispanic Employment Report, and that OPM would refer agencies to EEOC's Annual Report on the Federal Workforce for analysis based on race, ethnicity, and sex. Neither OPM nor EEOC has issued its respective report since the civilian labor force comparison within the 2010 EEO Tabulation was been released. Although EEOC has posted specific instructions on its website on how federal agencies should use the citizenship tables to create their MD-715 (EEOC's management directive which provides guidance and standards to federal agencies for establishing and maintaining effective equal employment opportunity programs) comparison groups, it is not clear that this is required. Further, in the MD-715 workforce data table templates, EEOC provides the government-wide 2010 CLF comparison. However, it is unclear whether these data account for citizenship. As such, until further actions are taken this recommendation remains open.

    Recommendation: The Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) should include citizenship in their annual comparisons of representation in the federal workforce to the CLF. To help ensure consistency, both agencies should agree upon a single source of citizenship data.

    Agency Affected: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    Status: Open

    Comments: At the direction of Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Department of Justice and Department of Labor, citizenship tables were included by the Census Bureau into its 2006-2010 Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation (formally known as the Census Special EEO File), which was released on November 29, 2012. According to OPM correspondence dated August 13, 2013, OPM and EEOC agreed that the 2010 EEO Tabulation would be the sole source of citizenship data, that OPM would not include a civilian labor force comparison in its Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Recruitment Program and Hispanic Employment Report, and that OPM would refer agencies to EEOC's Annual Report on the Federal Workforce for analysis based on race, ethnicity, and sex. Neither OPM nor EEOC has issued its respective report since the civilian labor force comparison within the 2010 EEO Tabulation was released. Although EEOC has posted specific instructions on its website on how federal agencies should use the citizenship tables to create their MD-715 (EEOC's management directive which provides guidance and standards to federal agencies for establishing and maintaining effective equal employment opportunity programs)comparison groups, it is not clear that this is required. Further, in the MD-715 workforce data table templates, EEOC provides the government-wide 2010 CLF comparison. However, it is unclear whether these data account for citizenship. As such, until further actions are taken this recommendation remains open.

    Recommendation: The Director of OPM should assess the extent of participation by racial and ethnic groups in student employment programs--Student Career Experience Program (SCEP), Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP), and Presidential Management Fellows (PMF)--to help agencies maximize the use of these programs in their overall strategic workforce plan. This effort should include analyzing participation in, and conversion rates to, permanent positions from these programs and reporting governmentwide and agency-specific demographic data for the different racial and ethnic groups reflecting participation in, and rates of conversion to, permanent employment from these programs. These data are in addition to the data already reported on these programs in its reports, such as in its statistical reports on Hispanic employment and in the Fact Book.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

    Status: Open

    Comments: In correspondence dated August 13, 2013, OPM stated that it will include demographic data on the bases of race, ethnicity, sex, and disability when it issues its first report in late 2013. This commitment is an important first step. However, OPM has not indicated whether it will analyze and report data on an agency specific basis and on conversions to permanent employment as indicated in the recommendation. As such, until further agency action is taken this recommendation remains open.

    Recommendation: The Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) should include citizenship in their annual comparisons of representation in the federal workforce to the CLF. To help ensure consistency, both agencies should agree upon a single source of citizenship data.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

    Status: Open

    Comments: At the direction of Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Department of Justice and Department of Labor, citizenship tables were included by the Census Bureau into its 2006-2010 Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation (formally known as the Census Special EEO File), which was released on November 29, 2012. According to OPM correspondence dated August 13, 2013, OPM and EEOC agreed that the 2010 EEO Tabulation would be the sole source of citizenship data, that OPM would not include a civilian labor force comparison in its Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Recruitment Program and Hispanic Employment Report, and that OPM would refer agencies to EEOC's Annual Report on the Federal Workforce for analysis based on race, ethnicity, and sex. Neither OPM nor EEOC has issued its respective report since the civilian labor force comparison within the 2010 EEO Tabulation was released. Although EEOC has posted specific instructions on its website on how federal agencies should use the citizenship tables to create their MD-715 (EEOC's management directive which provides guidance and standards to federal agencies for establishing and maintaining effective equal employment opportunity programs) comparison groups, it is not clear that this is required. Further, in the MD-715 workforce data table templates, EEOC provides the government-wide 2010 CLF comparison. However, it is unclear whether these data account for citizenship. As such, until further actions are taken this recommendation remains open.

    Recommendation: The Director of OPM and the Chair of EEOC should work with other Consortium agencies and the Census Bureau to incorporate citizenship data into the 2010 Census Special EEO File and incorporate such data into analyses under MD-715, FEORP, and Executive Order No. 13171.

    Agency Affected: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    Status: Open

    Comments: At the direction of Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Department of Justice and Department of Labor, citizenship tables were included by the Census Bureau into its 2006-2010 Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulation (formally known as the Census Special EEO File), which was released on November 29, 2012. According to OPM correspondence dated August 13, 2013, OPM and EEOC agreed that the 2010 EEO Tabulation would be the sole source of citizenship data, that OPM would not include a civilian labor force comparison in its Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Recruitment Program and Hispanic Employment Report, and that OPM would refer agencies to EEOC's Annual Report on the Federal Workforce for analysis based on race, ethnicity, and sex. Neither OPM nor EEOC has issued its respective report since the civilian labor force comparison within the 2010 EEO Tabulation was released. Although EEOC has posted specific instructions on its website on how federal agencies should use the citizenship tables to create their MD-715 (EEOC's management directive which provides guidance and standards to federal agencies for establishing and maintaining effective equal employment opportunity programs) comparison groups, it is not clear that this is required. Further, in the MD-715 workforce data table templates, EEOC provides the government-wide 2010 CLF comparison. However, it is unclear whether these data account for citizenship. As such, until further actions are taken this recommendation remains open.

    Sep 2, 2014

    Jul 15, 2014

    Jun 6, 2014

    May 8, 2014

    Apr 9, 2014

    Mar 4, 2014

    Jan 29, 2014

    Jul 18, 2013

    Jul 8, 2013

    Apr 16, 2013

    Looking for more? Browse all our products here