Army recruiting is sensitive to fluctuations in labor market conditions. Declines in unemployment over the past several years have led to decreases in the number and quality of enlistments. The Army has several discretionary policy tools that it can use to reduce cyclical variations in recruiting. However, budget constraints and other external requirements often limit the flexibility of these tools. More recently, the recruiting outlook turned favorable for the Army, primarily due to planned reductions in end strength. These reductions imply a 20 to 30 percent drop in total enlistment requirements over the next several years compared with 1989 levels. The danger is that dramatic budget cuts will impair the manpower quality goals of recruiting. Recruiting cuts alone should not be the only means of meeting end-strength reductions to 1995. Copyright 1990 Western Economic Association International.
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