ALJ Staffing Grows 10 Percent In 2016, But Overall SSA Staffing Declines
The Social Security Administration (SSA) released today updated workforce numbers through December 31, 2016.
The figures show the SSA lost 3.3 percent of its workforce in 2016, declining 2,154 employees to 63,364 compared to 65,518 at the end of 2015. The 63,364 staffing level is down 9.8 percent (6,906) from the end of 2010 when the agency peaked at 70,270 employees.
The number of administrative law judges (ALJs), who decide claims at the hearing level, rose 10.1 percent in 2016, up 155 from 1,529 to 1,684.
As previously reported, the 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. Additional hiring should continue into 2017, as the Agency was granted an exemption from the President’s federal hiring freeze.
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