President Donald Trump imposed a hiring freeze of federal government workers Monday as a way to reduce payrolls and rein in the size of the federal work force.
Trump’s directive is fulfilling one of his campaign promises. He told reporters that the military will be exempted from the hiring freeze. Also excluded were public safety positions and those in public health, the Washington Post reported.
The new president has pledged to take on the federal bureaucracy, and the action could be the first step in an attempt to curtail government employment.
The memorandum signed by Trump’s is similar to one that President George W. Bush signed at the start of his administration in 2001.
The government was seeking employees for roughly 240 federal jobs in Kentucky, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which operates a website with job openings through which job seekers can search by position or geographically and apply.
The personnel office released a report in 2015 that included average salaries for federal agencies. The average salary for federal workers in Kentucky was $65,785, the second-lowest average salary of all the states and District of Columbia.
The personnel office website has compiled a history of the number of employees in executive branch agencies and offices, the legislative and judicial branches, and the military since 1962. The peak since then was in 1968, when there were 6.64 million employees. In 2014, the most recent year available, there were 4.2 million federal workers, including 2.7 million in hundreds of executive branch agencies.
Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that the Obama administration accelerated hiring before Trump took over. Those who have not started work might be vulnerable to the freeze.