Since the economic downturn began in December of 2007, the private sector workforce has shrunk by more than 6 percent. Over the same period, the federal government's workforce (excluding Census and Postal workers) grew by nearly 12 percent, adding 230,000 new federal employees, to a total of more than 2 million workers. President Obama's 2012 budget proposes adding another 15,000 federal workers. The failed 2009 stimulus bill showed that government-funded employment is no substitute for real market-driven private sector job creation, and government spending to support federal jobs has a crowd-out effect on private employment. Substantial savings could be achieved by reducing the number of federal employees by 10 percent over the next 3 years. Reductions can be made by attrition, hiring only one new federal employee for every three federal workers who retire or leave federal employment.