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2011 Federal Government Jobs Outlook

2011 Federal Government Jobs Outlook

photo | flickr | johanohrling

Dona DeZube, Monster Finance Careers Expert

A midyear election in which candidates ran against Washington and a troubled economy have put downward pressure on government hiring, but there are still plenty of federal job openings in Uncle Sam’s shop.

In the first half of fiscal year 2010 (October 2009 to March 2010) the government employment market was brisk — 58,893 new employees were hired in full-time, permanent, nonseasonal jobs, says John Palguta, vice president of the Partnership for Public Service, a Washington, DC, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes the benefits of public-sector jobs That’s a pace that will play out to 125,000 to 130,000 federal hires in fiscal year 2011.

Even if no new federal jobs are created in 2011, the government will still have to hire an amazing quantity of new workers in 2011. “Folks leaving drives demand,” Palguta says. “More than half of those hired in 2009 were simply replacing people who left, and the federal workforce is not getting younger.”

When the economy improves, federal workers who put off retirement due to economic concerns will vacate their cubbies at a faster pace, creating even more government job openings, he predicts. “The Thrift Savings Plan, our equivalent of the 401k, is improving, so I think you’re going to see an exodus in the 80,000 to 90,000 range in FY 2011,” Palguta says.

Cutbacks in Federal Hiring Ahead?

Will Republican proposals to get rid of fraud, waste and mismanagement in federal government, as well as to freeze hiring result in significant federal layoffs or drastically reduced government hiring in 2011? Probably not, Palguta says. Republicans typically don’t support hiring freezes for defense, homeland security and other agencies responsible for strengthening the border, supporting the military and taking care of wounded veterans. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of other places to cut, Palguta says.

The bottom line: Even with more Republicans in office, the government will still have the help wanted sign in its window, but won’t add as many new jobs at the same pace as it added jobs in the past couple of years, Palguta says.

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photo | flickr | johanohrling

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