Input: More feds retiring means more outsourcing

A new study shows that the percentage of government workers nearing retirement age will increase dramatically during the next several years.

The number of federal information technology workers 50 years of age or older will increase steadily during the next few years from 38 percent in fiscal 2003 to 45 percent by fiscal 2008, according to a report issued this week by market research firm Input Inc.

The federal workforce tends to be older than the private sector workforce with a greater percentage of employees older than 45 in IT-related jobs. This creates the potential for severe shortages across all government IT competencies, the report said. Consequently, agencies will rely more heavily on outsourcing to fill vacancies and shortfalls.

"In order to sustain a level balance between retiring and new IT professionals, the federal government will increasingly look to outside vendors for the time and resources necessary to accomplish its missions," said Jennifer Geurin, senior analyst for federal agency profiles at Input.

The federal IT workforce is a vital part of the government's ability to accomplish its IT-related goals. For instance, several agencies, such as the FBI and IRS, have undertaken agencywide IT systems modernizations programs; the President's e-government initiatives call for agencies to use the Internet to create a citizen-centered government; and the Defense Department is continuing its transformation to a network-centric operation.

Based in Reston, Va., Input provides market research primarily for companies that compete for government contracts as well as information to help state and local governments compete for grants. The privately owned company has more than 1,000 clients.

The full report, entitled "Aging Federal IT Workforce: Trends and Solutions" is available to clients of Input's information services subscription programs at http://info.input.com.

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