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Expand chart
Data: Partnership for Public Service; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The federal workforce shifted in ways that aligned with Donald Trump's policy priorities during his four years as president, new data shared exclusively with Axios show.

Why it matters: Control over the 2.1 million-strong federal civilian workforce — the largest in the country — is a potent but often overlooked tool for presidents to shift policy.

By the numbers: The biggest shift, by far, took place at the Office of Personnel Management: the workforce was slashed by more than half in 2019.

  • That was largely the result of a Trump executive order transferring the federal employee background check process from OPM to the Defense Department.
  • It occurred as Trump critics accused him of attempting to illegally "dismantle" the federal personnel agency.
  • The Labor Department, National Labor Relations Board and the Federal Labor Relations Authority also saw sizable workforce dips during Trump's tenure.

On the other side of the ledger, agencies aligned with his priorities — such as immigration and trade — saw employment bumps.

  • The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative grew during all four years and saw the largest percentage bump of any agency over that time. The International Trade Commission also boosted its workforce substantially.
  • The Department of Homeland Security, key to Trump-led immigration crackdowns, also grew during all four years.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of the Navy got workforce bumps as well, largely outpacing federal hiring generally.

Go deeper

How Fed policy can narrow racial divides

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics via FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

When the Federal Reserve moves to raise or lower interest rates, it affects nearly every corner of the economy at once, not just one group or another. Fed leaders refer to their tools as blunt instruments.

Why it matters: But it's becoming clearer that the Fed does has surprisingly powerful effects on whether people historically more likely to be on the fringes of the job market, including Black Americans and those with less education, prosper.

Momentum builds to ban lawmakers from trading stocks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some progressive Democrats and MAGA Republicans are uniting on a proposal to ban sitting lawmakers from trading individual stocks, although it's unlikely that leadership will bring the bill up for a vote.

Why it matters: Members of Congress have great power to move stock prices, and great financial incentives to do so.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: The Weather Prediction Center said in a storm summary Monday that winter storm warnings are still in effect for portions of the Central Appalachians, Ohio Valley, interior Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, while portions of the Central Appalachians and coastal New England are under high wind warnings.