Contract-hire personnel in the Department of Defense

by Richard V.L. Cooper


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Contract-hire personnel are an important element in DOD manpower resources, although there are presently no available estimates regarding historical trends on the numbers of contract-hire personnel or their costs. Using available data from the Budget of the U.S. Government, the author develops a method for estimating the numbers of contract-hire personnel and their costs over the past twenty years. Because of data limitations, the estimates are relatively crude, but do provide some insight into the historical trends in the use and cost of contract-hires. The most dominant trend is greater use of contract-hire personnel by the DOD since the Vietnam War. Specifically, the numbers of contract-hire personnel used in the post-Vietnam environment appear to be between 1-1/2 and 2 times larger than the pre-Vietnam environment--thus helping to offset the reduction in uniformed personnel that has taken place since that period.

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