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Updated SSA Workforce Numbers Released

2017 January 6
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by Steve Perrigo

The Social Security Administration (SSA) released today updated workforce numbers through September 30, 2016, the end of its fiscal year.

The figures show the SSA lost 2 percent of its workforce in fiscal year 2016, declining 1,323 employees to 64,394 compared to 65,717 at the end of fiscal year 2015. The 64,394 staffing level is down 8 percent (5,559) from the end of fiscal year 2010 when the agency peaked at 69,953 employees.

The number of administrative law judges (ALJs), who decide claims at the hearing level, inched up to 1,591 from 1,519 at the end of fiscal year 2015. This number has hovered around the 1,500 mark for the past several years, despite the dramatic growth in the pending hearing backlog. As previously reported, the recent Continuing Resolution authorized the hiring of additional ALJs for the purpose of reducing the 1.1 million hearing claims backlog, which also aligns with a September 2016 SSA Office of the Inspector General report on the agency’s objective of reaching up to 1,900 ALJs by fiscal year 2018.

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