All Things Political

Federal Government Job Outlook

supplemental resource: Job Outlook by Profession

Wage and salary employment in the Federal Government is projected to increase by 10 percent over the 2008-18 period. There will be a substantial number of job openings as many Federal workers are expected to retire over the next decade, although job prospects are expected to vary by occupation.

Wage and salary employment in the Federal Government, except Post Office, is expected to increase by 10 percent over the coming decade, which is close to the 11 percent growth rate for all industries combined. Staffing levels in Federal Government can be subject to change in the long run because of changes in public policies as legislated by the Congress, which affect spending levels and hiring decisions for the various departments and agencies. In general, over the coming decade, domestic programs are likely to see an increase in employment.

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While there will be growth in many occupations over the coming decade, demand will be especially strong for specialized workers in areas related to public health, information security, scientific research, law enforcement, and financial services. As a larger share of the U.S. population enters the older age brackets, demand for healthcare will increase. This will lead to a substantial number of new jobs in Federal hospitals and other healthcare facilities for registered nurses and physicians and surgeons. In addition, as cyber security becomes an increasingly important aspect of National defense, rapid growth will occur among information technology specialists, such as computer and information research scientists, who will be needed to devise defense methods, monitor computer networks, and execute security protocol. Furthermore, as global activity in scientific development increases, the Federal Government will add many physical science, life science, and engineering workers to remain competitive. Aside from these specific areas, numerous new jobs in other occupational areas will arise as the diverse Federal workforce continues to expand.

As financial and business transactions face increased scrutiny, a substantial number of compliance officers and claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators will be added to Federal payrolls. In addition, as the population grows and national security remains a priority, many new law enforcement officers, such as detectives and criminal investigators will be needed.

Job prospects in the Federal government are expected to vary by occupation. Over the next decade, a significant number of workers are expected to retire, which will create a large number of job openings. This may create favorable prospects in certain occupations, but jobseekers may face competition for positions in occupations with fewer retirements, or for popular jobs that attract many applicants.

Competition for Federal positions can increase during times of economic uncertainty, when workers seek the stability of Federal employment. In general, employment in the Federal government is considered to be relatively stable because it is less susceptible than private industries to fluctuations in the economy.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Career Guide to Industries, 2010-11 Edition

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