Critical Read

Half of feds consider looking for jobs outside government

Exit Sign

What: A survey conducted by Market Connections Inc. and FierceGovIT titled “Federal Employee Defection & Fallout.”

Why: The poll surveyed 370 government employees in civilian and defense agencies and found that half are looking for a job outside government. The three most common reasons cited were pay freezes, frustration with the political environment and higher salaries in the private sector. Federal employees with less than five years of service were significantly more likely (53 percent) to cite pay as their reason for searching for a job than those with more than five years under their belts (about 30 percent). Respondents with the longest tenure – those with more than 20 years in government service – were much more likely to consider a job change because of pay freezes.

Half of respondents working in civilian agencies cited political frustration as their main reason for looking for private-sector work, while half the respondents working in defense agencies cited the government shutdown and mandatory furloughs.

The majority of respondents believe a loss of federal employees to the private sector will directly affect mission success within government.

Verbatim: 76 percent of respondents agree that “a loss of institutional knowledge from retiring personnel will ultimately erode mission effectiveness.” Sixty-one percent say “there is not enough talent to ensure that federal operations are not affected as retirement of personnel continues to increase.”

Full report

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

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Reader comments

Mon, Feb 24, 2014

Don't worry, we can always dump more work on those worthless conrtactors. That is what they are here for. And to take the blame for anything going wrong.

Mon, Feb 24, 2014

We've lost 3 of our most competent new hires in the last 6 months. We are an organization of 19 and have little or no overlap in assignments. Two of three we lost were SME’s; the third was an extremely bright young software engineer. The primary reason all three left was financial. If you add to this the uncertainty and inconsistency of our current political morass, its pervading malaise, and the resulting inertia is not the kind of environment young creative minds can, or should, thrive in or even be exposed to. Sadly the current situation is not a cancer patient but a cadaver. It’s hard to believe it’s not purposeful, a trompe l'œil.

Mon, Feb 24, 2014 Frustrated

This trend is also followed within the Armed forces. The top heavy doesn't want to loose their grip so they put the end of the totem pole, soldiers on the front lines under stress so they leave. This will make them look good. Ofcourse, the ranking officials want people that are Brown nosers not those who are committed to the taxpayers. When questions arise, the top puts so much stress on the low end so either they have PTSD or committ sucide. Thats the story of my son with many certificates of appreciation and recommendation but when doing his job rightfully, his master Sgt acts so innocent and now tries to destroy my son, whom he save another fellow soldier from committing suicide because of the above. What a clear direction.......

Fri, Feb 21, 2014 NoCal

For those of us in VA suffering a revolving door or bad leaders being directed by what can only be described as the worst IT leader in all of government, yes, we're looking to get out. At my facility few want to come to work, much less consider the VA a career.

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