The number of Americans who took the Foreign Service exam was down 26 percent in June from the same month the previous year, sparking concerns about what President Trump’s administration may be doing to enthusiasm for State Department work.
Politico reported 2,730 people took the exam in June 2017, 26 percent fewer than the amount of people who took it in June 2016.
The report indicates that shows less people are interested in getting into the process to become a high-level State Department diplomat. It’s raising concern among experts that the Foreign Service ranks may not be filled with skilled diplomats decades down the road.
One graduate student who was considering going into the Foreign Service but has reconsidered put the blame on Trump.
“I feel like this is a time when more people should be trying to join State and trying to change the dynamic there right now,” the student told Politco.
The Trump administration doesn’t “treat the State Department with as much respect as they should,” the student said.
Trump said earlier this week he’s trying to trim the payroll at the State Department and joked that he was glad Russian President Vladimir Putin required the American Embassy to cut staff because it would help him accomplish that goal.
The test is usually given three times per year, and Politico reported between 4,000 and 7,000 people usually took the test in each session during President Obama’s administration.
This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner