Last week, President Trump lifted the freeze on all federal hiring issued in January that raised some red flags for IAVA. 31% of the federal workforce is veterans, and hiring delays at VA reportedly created additional backlog. The President’s decision to lift the freeze was welcome, but combined with the details of his plan to reduce the workforce overall requires further analysis to to assess the net impact on veterans.:
How will lifting the hiring freeze affect VA services? The impact of lifting the hiring freeze will likely be pretty minimal, because the impact of the short-lived freeze itself was minimal.
How will lifting the hiring freeze affect veteran employment? Lifting the hiring freeze may mean that some veterans in the hiring pipeline will get job offers, but it doesn’t guarantee that the federal government will fill open positions as they reduce the overall workforce.
How will reducing the workforce affect DoD and VA? DoD and VA workforce will largely be exempt from any cuts, specifically medical staff positions within the VA and those deemed critical to national security.
How will reducing the workforce affect veterans employment? The federal government employs a large percentage (last reported at 31%) of veterans which increases the likelihood that veterans who are currently employed may lose jobs as a result of the cuts. This is especially concerning for women veterans, who already experience higher rates of unemployment compared to their male counterparts.
In summary, the President following through on his promise that the freeze would be temporary is a good thing, but it remains to be seen how great of an impact the Administration’s plan to make “surgical cuts” in the federal workforce will be on individual veterans. Stay tuned for more as we learn more and be sure to contact our Rapid Response Referral Program if you experience issues with your employment or benefits!