Gov Careers

By Phil Piemonte

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Speak to us, Gen-X

According to numbers released this week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average tenure of federal employees has dropped from 11.5 years in 2000 to 7.9 years in 2010.

Some of this drop can be attributed to the rising number of retirements among Baby Boomers. And maybe some can be attributed to the more transient nature of subsequent generations of employees. (Plus the workforce is getting bigger, so there’s that statistical thing about “regressing toward the mean” that draws down the average as more individuals enter the total pool.)

However, federal jobs seem to continue to be rather highly coveted—especially in this particular job market, at least judging by the numbers of fed wannabes who swamp federal job fairs.

In comparison with the average private-sector job, federal jobs have a lot going for them, including relatively dependable raises, good health care and retirement benefits, and—for many jobs—a clear career path.

So while the average tenure might be dropping this year, and maybe for a couple more, we’re wondering if younger feds are planning to stick around as long as the Boomers did —and will begin to drive that average back up.

So, young Gen-X and Gen-Y folks, what’s the plan?

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Sep 17, 2010 at 12:13 PM


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