NFFE Fact Sheet: “Dispelling Popular Lies and Myths about the Federal Workforce”


Contact: Matt Dorsey
Phone: (202) 550-6987

June 27, 2023

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) released a new fact sheet that is designed to combat disinformation about the federal workforce. “The Fight for American Democracy: Dispelling Popular Lies and Myths about the Federal Workforce” is available for public use. The new fact sheet is intended to defend against attempts to distort the truth about the size, practicality, and effectiveness of the federal workforce.

Disinformation about the federal workforce is commonly used by detractors who slander both individual federal employees and the federal workforce in general for their own political agenda or personal gain. Highlights from the fact sheet include surprising information that runs contrary to the false claims created by many well-heeled dark money sources that frequently deploy disinformation to diminish the transparency and effectiveness of the executive branch.

With a particular focus on decreasing regulatory and criminal prosecutions, these dark money sources actively campaign to 1) starve the executive branch of qualified people and adequate funding, and 2) corrupt government operations by diminishing the Federal Merit System Principles and other safeguards against industry and political overreach. Dispelling Popular Lies and Myths is mandatory reading for anyone interested in the fight against the disinformation that threatens to damage a critical pillar of an open democracy: “A highly qualified, diverse federal workforce that is fairly and effectively managed, providing excellent service to the American people.” [MSPB, 2023]

Highlights include:

  • The federal workforce has not grown since 1947 and is its smallest ever per capita. The federal workforce remains at two million employees, the same as it was in 1952, even though the population of the U.S. has more than doubled since that date.
  • 10,000 federal employees are terminated for cause each year. This equates to 40 employees being fired every workday. The claim by some in Congress that it is “impossible” to fire a federal employee is nonsense.
  • The federal employee termination rate for cause is the same as the private sector. Probably the biggest shocker in the list is this: Both the private sector and federal government fire employees at the same rate annually (.3% of the workforce).
  • The truth behind the MSPB and the FLRA, and the foolish effort to eliminate both. Federal employees prevail only 18% of the time before the MSPB and only 3% upon appeal to the full board, and less than 50% of the time at the FLRA. It makes one wonder why there is a concerted effort to establish laws and regulations that bypass or defund the agencies that safeguard a fair, open, and transparent government.


The Fight for American Democracy: Dispelling Popular Lies and Myths about the Federal Workforce