Federal Job Security

Back in the old days, government jobs didn’t pay very well compared to private sector jobs. But they’ve always offered better job security. For people who value not having to worry about being laid off, it can be a fair tradeoff.

Today, federal jobs tend to pay much better than comparable private sector jobs. There are other perks such as early retirement, and exceedingly generous pension and health benefits. And job security? That remains as high as ever. USA Today reports:

Death — rather than poor performance, misconduct or layoffs — is the primary threat to job security at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Management and Budget and a dozen other federal operations.

The federal government fired 0.55% of its workers in the budget year that ended Sept. 30 — 11,668 employees in its 2.1 million workforce. Research shows that the private sector fires about 3% of workers annually for poor performance, says John Palguta, former research chief at the federal Merit Systems Protection Board, which handles federal firing disputes.

For those interested in learning more, I recommend my colleague Iain Murray’s new book, Stealing You Blind.