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Federal Workers Often More Likely to Die Before Losing Their Job

2:00 PM, Jul 20, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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For the last year or two, USA Today has really been doing some terrific analysis on the federal workforce, and as you might expect, much of what they've discovered is pretty damning. The latest:

Federal employees' job security is so great that workers in many agencies are more likely to die of natural causes than get laid off or fired, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

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.

Note that the neither the Federal Trade Comission and Federal Communications Commission laid off or fired a single worker last year. It's high time the federal workforce started feeling the rest of the country's pain.

But don't worry, as Byron York notes, the federal government is still on a hiring spree:

And the federal government is not only not firing anyone; it's doing plenty of hiring.  A look at federal job listings shows that the Internal Revenue Service is looking for a deputy executive director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, at a salary of up to $155,500 per year. The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs is looking for a Gender Issues Advisor, based in Iraq, at up to $155,500 per year. The Agency for International Development is looking for three Democracy Specialists, at up to $136,771 per year.  And the Department of Housing and Urban Development is on a hiring spree for Equal Opportunity Specialists, at up to $65,371 per year, with openings in Hartford, Boston, Buffalo, New York City, Newark, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Baltimore, Miami, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Louisville, Birmingham, Jackson, Greensboro, Knoxville, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Dallas, San Antonio, Albuquerque, Omaha, St. Louis -- the list goes on and on.

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