Federal job satisfaction hits lowest mark since 2010

Salary freezes, continuing budget cuts and furloughs have eroded morale among federal employees so deeply that many do not recommend the government as a good place to work, a survey released Friday found.

Most still think the work they do is valuable and look for ways to do their job better. But the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration have helped push already low job satisfaction to its lowest point since 2010, according to the government’s own Employee Viewpoint Survey.

People cross a street in downtown Washington, DC, on Oct. 17, one day after the deal to reopen the government. (Jewel Samad/AFP-Getty). People cross a street in downtown Washington, D.C., on Oct. 17, one day after the deal to reopen the government. (Jewel Samad/AFP-Getty).

The survey “shows a strong and resolute group of employees who are devoted to their agency and country,” Katherine Archuleta, the newly confirmed director of the Office of Personnel Management, wrote in the survey, “but are growing weary due to current policies and practices affecting agency operations and resources.”

MORE: Federal workers’ job satisfaction drops

She expressed alarm at the long-term implications for recruiting and keeping top talent at agencies losing veteran employees to retirement and the private sector.

“Without a more predictable and responsible budget situation, we risk losing our most talented employees, as well as hurting our ability to recruit top talent for the future,” Archuleta said of the survey results, which were posted on OPM’s Web site.

Lisa Rein covers the federal workforce and issues that concern the management of government.
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