February 7, 2009

Federal Workers Happier than Private Sector Employees?

By Kelly Johnson

This weakened economy has left many employed Americans wondering if and when they'll receive the dreaded pink slip from their employer. After all, a lot of private-sector companies have cut their workforce, which has forced the unemployment rate to rise to 7.3 percent -- its highest rate in years.
Worrying about impending unemployment has led to decreased job satisfaction for a lot of civilians. In fact, a 2007 Conference Board survey of 5,000 households found that less than half of the working adults are satisfied with their jobs. And, the anxiety and fear of becoming unemployed has decreased productivity and creativity in many offices, reports OhMyGov.com.
"Although a certain amount of dissatisfaction with one's job is to be expected, the breadth of dissatisfaction is somewhat unsettling, since it carries over from what attracts employees to a job to what keeps them motivated an productive on the job," says Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center a press release.
Conversely, job satisfaction for most federal employees increased. The reason: The public sector is one of the few industries that has been largely untouched by the economic downturn and is growing. And, as a result, 84 percent of federal employees surveyed report being happy with their jobs, according to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
Over the years the public sector has proven to be an employer with great job security, and has had little turnover. The number of federal employees has remained the same -- 1.9 million workers (not counting postal workers or servicemembers) -- since 1963.
"The government is not going anywhere," says John Palguta, Public Service's vice president for Policy in an OhMyGov.com report. "It's a stable place for people to work and looking at all the challenges facing our country, the government is going to need to be there to be part of the solution."
The public sector is also working to fill more than 200,000 jobs as more baby boomers chose to retire. These jobs vary across agencies and offer the same job security, as well as other benefits exclusive to federal employees.
Financial experts predict that the job market and economy will continue to decline for at least another year, and as a result, more job seekers are looking for work that will provide them job security to ride out the recession. The federal government can offer that kind of security.
"No one wants to be on sinking ship," adds Paluguta. "In the government you can see a place where things are stable or even growing."
To find jobs in the federal workforce or to find a veteran that works in the public sector, visit Military.com's Career channel.

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