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How Many Federal Government Employees Are in Alexandria?

When federal budget cuts from sequestration start March 1, Alexandria and the surrounding communities of Virginia's 8th congressional district will be hit hard due to the sheer number of residents employed by the federal government.

The across-the-board federal spending cuts slated to take effect Friday could impact Virginia’s 8th Congressional District—which includes Alexandria—more heavily than any other district in the state.

In addition to the tens of thousands of 8th District residents facing furloughs from their government jobs, a number of residents work for major government contractors headquartered here. In government-saturated Virginia, a sequestration study by George Mason University found up to 207,000 jobs could be lost.

Northern Virginia defense contractors speaking with Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, at a roundtable event earlier this month said sequestration started affecting their jobs in the defense industry months ago. 

In addition, the sequester could lead to downturns in the local economy for everyone from dogwalkers to teachers.

By the Numbers

In Virginia, there are 322,198 federal employees and retirees. In the 8th Congressional District, there are 113,934 federal employees and retirees, more than in any other congressional district in the state.

The 8th Congressional District covers Alexandria, Falls Church and parts of Arlington and Fairfax counties.

There are 18,874 federal employees in the city of Alexandria, including retirees, and 37,062 in Arlington County, 54,454 in Fairfax County and 3,544 in Falls Church.

Of federal employees in Alexandria, by place of employment:

  • 4,637 work for the departments of Defense or Homeland Security;
  • Two work for the Department of Veteran Affairs;
  • One works for the Treasury Department;
  • 586 work for the Department of Agriculture;
  • Two work for the Department of the Interior;
  • One works for the Department of Transportation;
  • 8,474 work for the Department of Commerce;
  • 286 work for the U.S. Postal Service;
  • 30 work for Social Security;
  • 591 work for the federal government in another capacity; and
  • 4,264 are federal retirees.

These statistics were released by the Office of Personnel Management, Federal Employment Statistics, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Read more about the sequester:


McDonnell: Sequester Could Force Virginia Into Recession
What are you Doing on Your Furlough Days?

"fed" up February 27, 2013 at 06:03 PM
I think your stats are wrong on the number of Alexandrians working for the gov't. Your numbers appear to be based on the employee's work duty station, not the employee's residence. Hence there are 8,474 Commerce employees listed because the USPTO HQ is in Alexandria--but not all of those employees live in Alexandria. Conversely, there is no way that only one Alexandrian works for the Treasury Department-there are likely dozens of Treasury employees who live in Alexandria and commute to DC. Your 1 Treasury employee likely reflects a single Treasury employee who teleworks fulltime from his/her home in Alexandria, and thus shows his duty station as Alexandria.
Rachel Leonard February 27, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Thank you. We will adjust the story to reflect this.

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