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An interesting, if not obvious, article came across my RSS reader today:

From "Pay and Hiring Freezes Leave Their Mark"

In a survey of 40 federal information executives by TechAmerica and Grant Thornton, 70 percent of respondents said the current two year across-the-board freeze on federal pay and hiring freezes have had an impact on their hiring plans. Pay freezes also have lowered employee morale, caused some staff to leave and are making it difficult to recruit and hire younger staff, respondents noted.

“Compounding the problem is that, as the nation recovers from the recession that started in 2008, more private sector IT jobs are opening up and competing for the IT labor force,” the report stated. “Some respondents say that federal employee bashing, sometimes by Congress, detracts from the attraction of working for Uncle Sam.”


As a state employee, I can say this problem is not limited to those holding federal IT jobs.Doing more with less and getting nothing in return is physically and mentally exhausting.

Is this what government employment has become? A choice between job security and job satisfaction?

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Tags: IT, career, human resources, job, job satisfaction, job security, jobs

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Comment by Kimberly Denz on May 8, 2012 at 12:33pm

Steve, that's the boat I'm in--along with the others at my agency. We've been at the mercy of budget cuts, hiring freezes, pay freezes, promotion freezes, and all other pay increases (COLA, education and certification benchmarks, etc) for nearly five years. Even though many restrictions have been lifted for the upcoming fiscal year, my agency still isn't giving raises or promotions. And the only hiring we're doing is via contract (when compensation can far exceed the agency average).

Even job security can't trump the negative atmosphere. So--as you stated--I know many who are job hunting. 

Comment by Steve on May 8, 2012 at 12:14pm

It happens at the local level as well and we have had pay freezes AND pay cuts for the past few years.  That, along with some other factors going on at the local level, is bringing about the low job satisfaction that leads to looking for employment elsewhere, even for those that have relatively high job security.

Comment by Kimberly Denz on May 8, 2012 at 11:09am

True, Andrew! Thanks for the comment. :)

Comment by Andrew Krzmarzick on May 8, 2012 at 9:13am

It's a lot like being in a relationship. You know you love the person (aka your job in government), but tough times inevitably press in on you (aka this moment of austerity). So you've got to remind yourself again and again why you fell in love with 'em - remember, re-commit, and re-double your efforts to serve. Tough times don't last forever...this is only a a season. Hang in there!

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