Workforce

No honeymoon for Trump with feds

Donald Trump April 2017 rally pennsylvania Shutterstock image evan el-amin credit 

President Trump at a rally in Pennsylvania in April 2017. (Photo credit: Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock.com)

The divisiveness and unpopularity of President Donald Trump extends to those who work for him, with support starkly split among partisan, gender and locational lines.

According to a poll conducted by Government Business Council, the research arm of the Government Executive Media Group, just 37 percent of federal employees report satisfaction with Trump's performance so far.

The survey, which solicited responses from 1,295 employees between April 20 and 25, reports a margin of error of three percent.

But digging deeper into the numbers reveals stark dividing lines based on gender, party and location.

Trump is more popular with men (42 percent approve) than he is with woman (31 percent approve); Republicans generally support the job Trump has done so far (78 percent approve), while Democrats overwhelmingly do not (92 percent oppose).

Feds located within the Washington, D.C., area reported stronger anti-Trump sentiment (29 percent approval) than those based outside (40 percent approval).

Among the self-identified independent respondents, 60 percent disapprove of Trump.

The partisan reception of Trump extends to his political appointees, as well.

Faith -- or lack thereof -- in Trump's political appointees is, on the aggregate, roughly split. However, 65 percent of Republicans report confidence in new political leadership, compared to just 11 percent of Democrats. For Independents, 30 percent reported they were confident, and 32 percent reported they were not.

Just 30 percent of respondents said that Trump respects the federal workforce, and 68 percent said that their organization has "maintained productivity throughout" Trump's first 100 days in office.

Federal employees also generally expressed disapproval towards Trump's actions to reform the workforce.

Despite Trump's hiring freeze aimed at making government more efficient, which received support from congressional Republicans, 54 percent of feds believe it impeded  their organization's effectiveness, compared to just 3 percent who thought it helped.

As far as Trump's plans to cut the size of the workforce, 58 percent believe it will impede an organization's ability to deliver mission objectives, compared to just 6 percent who believe it will help.

One respondent was quoted as saying, "While the hiring freeze has impacted our agency, I do believe government is too large. There is still a lot of waste in the federal government, and we could do more with fewer people if we prioritize and review our agency goals."

As far as priorities go, 73 percent of Republican respondents find a clarity in Trump's management priorities that is shared by just 14 percent of Democrats.

Additionally, 86 percent of federal employees believe that Trump should be held to the same standards as other federal employees.

Also, federal employees generally believe -- 61 percent -- that Trump has negatively impacted the reputation of the U.S. government, including 93 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents and 23 percent of Republicans.

About the Author

Chase Gunter is a staff writer covering civilian agencies, workforce issues, health IT, open data and innovation.

Prior to joining FCW, Gunter reported for the C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., and served as a college sports beat writer for the South Boston (Va.) News and Record. He started at FCW as an editorial fellow before joining the team full-time as a reporter.

Gunter is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where his emphases were English, history and media studies.

Click here for previous articles by Gunter, or connect with him on Twitter: @WChaseGunter

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Reader comments

Mon, May 8, 2017 TxBill Austin, Texas

I have been in the Federal workforce since Bush (41). There have been presidents I have liked and those I haven't. At the same time, I have had to deal with changing administrators and policies, and, again, there were those I agreed with and those I did not. All I could do is go to work each day and do the best job I could within the boundaries set for me. That is the only thing anybody CAN do. If you are unwilling to do that, the best thing you could do , for America, is quit, and find a job elsewhere.

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