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Percentage of Hispanics Employed by US Federal Government Increasing

First Posted: Oct 27, 2015 04:26 PM EDT

The percentage of U.S. Latinos employed by the federal government is steadily increasing. Unfortunately, Hispanics continue to be somewhat absent from in the federal workplace, representing just 8.4 percent of government workforce employees.

There are roughly 54 million Latinos living in the U.S., representing approximately 17 percent of the population. Between 2013 and 2014, the number of Hispanic employees hired by federal agencies increased from 7.0 to 7.5 percent, and peaked at 8.4 percent at the of 2014 fiscal year, according to a report published Monday, Oct. 27 by the United States Office of Personnel Management.

The "Fourteenth Annual Report on Hispanic Employment in the Federal Government for Fiscal Year 2014" showed that there been improvements regarding the quality and diversity of new hires. Also, there has been a special emphasis placed on the recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement of Hispanic talent in the federal workplace. The recruitment efforts led by the current and prior administrations have encouraged increases since 2000. This is evident by the fact that the number of Hispanic permanent hires in the Senior Executive Service (SES) increased to 5.5 percent in 2014 from 3.5 percent in 2013. Also, the number of on-board Hispanic Federal employees increased to 4.4 percent from 4.1 percent in 2013.

Approximately 19 of 24 of the largest agencies and departments have shown increases in the number of Hispanic employees, and none have shown a decline. However, five agencies did not show a change between 2013 and 2014. In the states with the highest percentages of Hispanics, there are higher percentages of Hispanic federal workers. Nearly 28 percent of New Mexico's workforce is Hispanic. California, Florida, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Nevada also boast a large number of permanent Federal workers.

Social work, auditor, electrical engineering, medical technologist and accounting are the Federal workforce professions where Hispanics are the most present. Additionally, the top administrative professions for Hispanics are customs and border protection agent, transportation specialist, social insurance administrator, and general legal and kindred administrator.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management prepared the Recruitment, Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Roadmap, which is a forward-looking plan to drive collaborations with agencies, build leadership and opportunity, and support the emergence of new Federal employees and leaders.

According to the report, enhancing strategic recruitment is the best way for agencies to reach top talent, close gaps and improve job attractiveness. Also, there must be increased energy put toward strengthening relationships with colleges and institutions; identifying and eliminating barriers facing diverse hires; developing transformational leaders who can motivate and inspire a multigenerational workforce; and cultivating key skills that lead to greater performance and job satisfaction. Work must go into developing a USAJOBS website that meets the needs of diverse job seekers and agencies, and it should be made far more social media friendly.

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