EEO report at consumer bureau underscores earlier reports of declining workforce at agency

A report issued last week on equal employment opportunity at the federal consumer financial protection bureau underscores earlier reports by the agency of a declining employee base, a review of the reports shows.

On June 4, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said in its Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) program status report for fiscal year (FY) 2018 that it ended the last fiscal year with 1,504 employees, down 139 from the same period a year previously.

In a financial report for FY 2018, issued last fall (and signed by former Acting CFBP Director John (“Mick”) Mulvaney) the agency reported total employees at the end of the last fiscal year of 1,510 (six more than that reported in the EEO report of last week). The agency provided no details for the discrepancy in the totals between the two reports.

Both the EEO and financial indicate the workforce at the agency declined in number by about 9.5%

In any event, the numbers show that, for the first time since the agency’s establishment in 2010, the total number of employees at the bureau has declined in a year, after eight straight years of growth in workers. The EEO report of last week confirms the report issued by Mulvaney last fall.

The FY 2018 financial report indicated that the agency workforce declined by 9.47% in 2018, down from the agency’s peak employment (the year before, in FY 2017) of 1,668.

The EEO report indicates that most of the positions that went away (for a total of 99) were full-time and part-time positions. Temporary positions, at 46, made up the balance of the positions that were eliminated.

The rate of growth of workers at the agency, while growing of the previous eight years, was slowing year by year. In 2017, for example, the agency workforce grew by only 1.2% (compared to about 8% in 2014).