Last week, we held a virtual government career fair with over 6,000 registrants. During the event, I answered 100+ questions from attendees in our networking lounge and our “Ask the Expert” series. The number one question I received was:
“Is the Government Still Hiring?”
Most people were worried that, with budget cuts and sequestration, the federal government isn’t even hiring.
My simple answer is: “Yes, it is.”
Every week, I pick the top 10 jobs per category (program analyst, entry level, communications, etc) for our GovLoop Jobs site (built on USAJOBS API), so I have some first-hand data on the trends.
1) The Numbers Aren’t That Bad
Each week I track the number of job vacancies announced (new ones posted that week) by a number of categories. Let’s look at the number of job openings announced that week:
- Entry Level Jobs – 3/3/13 (140 jobs), 11/24/12 (109 jobs) 8/27/12 (173 jobs)
- HR Jobs – 3/3/13 (128 jobs), 11/24/12 (99 jobs), 8/27/12 (141)
- IT Jobs – 3/3/13 (189 jobs), 11/24/12 (150 jobs) 8/27/12 (195 jobs)
As you can see, this week the number of vacancies isn’t really that bad. It’s a solid middle of the road week that is pretty average over the last 6 months.
2) Who is Still Hiring?
So the question is: who is still hiring? Despite the DOD cuts, the majority of the openings are still at DOD and VA with lots of openings at bases as well as headquarters jobs from IT program managers to contract specialists. Other big hires include DHS (especially NPPD as well as ICE and CBP), HHS (a large agency plus there is a lot going on with health care), and CFPB (a new agency that is growing).
3) Where Should You Look?
IT continues to be the area of jobs. There were 189 IT job vacancies launched last week versus only 27 in the communications field. Acquisition (85 vacancies) and budget analyst (65 vacancies) both continue to be strong hiring positions. I especially think these are the best ways to get into popular agencies like State, USAID and EPA (I see great openings in these fields at these agencies). Also, current feds have a leg up – in this week’s data, 57% openings were listed only for current feds (this percentage is about the same as what I’ve pulled in the past).
Obviously, 2013 isn’t going to be the best year for federal government hiring — sequestration has started and budget cuts are going to be brutal — but that doesn’t mean you should just bury your head and assume there’s no openings.
Keep on looking on Jobs.GovLoop.com (sign up for our top 10 job email alerts on the site ) and USAJOBS as there are openings and with retirements increasing, there’s going to continue to be a demand for talented govies.
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