The hiring freeze was implemented in August to bring the workforce down to 2010 levels, the Air Force said. Early retirements and buyouts were also offered and employees who accept the offers are expected to leave their jobs by the end of the year.
The Air Force said it has cut nearly 9,000 positions through the freeze and early exit offers, but needs to cut 4,500 more to meet its goal. Michelle LoweSolis, the Air Force Personnel Center‘s civilian force integration director, said many positions identified for elimination are already vacant and the hiring freeze resulted in more vacant positions.
“We have made significant progress in reducing manning levels through various programs,” LoweSolis said. “But in some areas we are still short of the goal, so the freeze was extended in those targeted areas to help us work toward that end.”
LoweSolis said a second round of early retirement and buyout offers is anticipated for January 2012.