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Study: Obama to Increase Fed Workforce by One Third

The Washington Post tries to hide the bombshell.

Federal Government Needs Massive Hiring Binge, Study Finds

The federal government needs to hire more than 270,000 workers for "mission-critical" jobs over the next three years, a surge prompted in part by the large number of baby-boomer federal workers reaching retirement age, according to the results of a government-wide survey being released Thursday.

The numbers also reflect the Obama administration's intent to take on several enormous challenges, including the repair of the financial sector, fighting two wars, and addressing climate change.

"It has to win the war for talent in order to win the multiple wars it's fighting for the American people," said Max Stier, president and chief executive of the Partnership for Public Service, the think tank that conducted the survey of 35 federal agencies, representing nearly 99 percent of the federal workforce.

Despite its comprehensive scope, the survey is necessarily imprecise about certain questions in looking so far into the future. The number of hires would be affected, for example, by federal workers deciding to delay their retirement, the government continuing to rely on private contractors to handle some of these jobs, and Congress balking at the price tag of adding new workers to the federal payroll.

Nevertheless, the survey makes clear that the majority of new hires will be needed in five broad fields -- medical, security, law enforcement, legal and administrative.

Mission-critical jobs are those positions identified by the agencies as being essential for carrying out their services. The study estimates that the federal government will need to hire nearly 600,000 people for all positions over President Obama's four years -- increasing the current workforce by nearly one-third.

In the Words of MythBusters' Adam Savage: "Well there's your problem."


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Comments (21)

So the plan to 'fix' unempl... (Below threshold)

So the plan to 'fix' unemployment is to have the Federal government hire more people ? Maybe there are some holes that need to be moved...

I just knew Barry would fin... (Below threshold)

I just knew Barry would find a way to reduce the unemployment rolls. Now all he has to do is to get Timmy to speed up the printing presses.

Government jobs are non-pro... (Below threshold)

Government jobs are non-productive, except of course for that Democrat vote and those union dues which end up in Democrat campaign coffers.

So where the bleeding hell ... (Below threshold)

So where the bleeding hell is the money supposed to come from for all this hiring?

(Looks in wallet, apprehensively...)

Crap. I THOUGHT I was keeping ahead of the bills...

Hopefully these people are ... (Below threshold)

Hopefully these people are hired at cheaper than their predecessors to offset the cost of the extra 1/3rd. Except Govt doesn't work that way, if you don't spend all your money this fiscal year, you get that much less next year, so lets waste as much as possible to keep our funding.

A federal worker pays their own salary approximately one month out of every year. The other 11 months are paid for by the rest of America. If we simply give everyone a job with the govt then there will be nobody to rape for money. But I guess at that point they would be working for food and housing right?

I can't wait to move into my 1-2 bedroom concrete cell in the new "project" building downtown.

"Mission critical jobs"? Wh... (Below threshold)

"Mission critical jobs"? Whats their mission statement and why is it so critical? Oh thats right. Hussein is up reselection in about that time.

It has to win the war for t... (Below threshold)
geo Author Profile Page:

It has to win the war for talent in order to win the multiple wars it's fighting for the American people,"

Isn't that "with the American people"?

Hey SAUD! Going to jump in... (Below threshold)

Hey SAUD! Going to jump in on this one? Or is this another topic you'd just rather ignore.


It's as if they go out of t... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

It's as if they go out of their way to find a new way to scare teh s#%t out of me every day...

Speaking of Mission Critica... (Below threshold)

Speaking of Mission Critical jobs, when is BO going to be filling all those jobs that need to be approved by the legislature instead of appointing Czars who answer to nobody but him, not the congress, not the people, just him?

To add some clarity here:</... (Below threshold)
James H:

To add some clarity here:

I don't know if it speaks for the entire one-third increase in the size of the bureaucracy, but the Obama administration has talked about bringing back in house a number of positions that were contracted out over the past several years. Why? Because in a number of cases, the contractor was more expensive than the in-house gov't position. By contracting it out, you ended up paying not merely the contractor's salary, but also the contracting company's overhead! No doubt, contracting jobs out makes sense at times, but at other times it does not make sense.

James, you're probably corr... (Below threshold)

James, you're probably correct... but that might just make it worse.

Is highly doubtful such a tactic would save any money if for no other reason than the government would have to pay contract termination fees. - Even if you accept the tenuous point that the gov could EVER do anything more efficiently than the private sector...

And if he is "re-nationalizing" things that where privatized before.. well.. that's part of Obama's problem. He wants to nationalize everything.

I predict most of these job... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

I predict most of these jobs will be Secret Service and civilian security forces. Warm, large bodies.

I doubt this takes into acc... (Below threshold)

I doubt this takes into account the creation of an American NHS either.

Paul:You're off on... (Below threshold)
James H:


You're off on a few counts.

First, recall that government contracts are not perpetuities. In fact, any number of them are reviewed annually. Declining to renew a contract, I am afraid, is unlikely to trigger termination fees.

Additionally, recall that when you contract out a position, you're paying not just for the person who keeps the seat warm, but also the staffing firm. This means that you pay the staffing firm for the cost of finding finding the person who works, and quite possibly the costs of a supervisor. The feds could presumably save money by bringing much of that in-house.

I'm not saying that converting every contract position to a GS position is the best way to go. But I fail to see a problem with analyzing contracts as they come up for renewal to determine whether it is more cost-effective to contract out a given position or keep it within the GS system.

JamesI work as a c... (Below threshold)
retired military:


I work as a contractor and am somewhat familiary with the GS / contractor system.

The major reason to have a contract position is to let the workforce go if a contract ends. Yes the govt is paying for the Contractor's company overhead but it isnt paying retirement benefits, healthcare benefits, etc for life as it does a GS employee.

In addition, a contractor is a WHOLE lot easier to fire than a GS employee. You also dont have to deal with union grievances.

They want to make things ch... (Below threshold)

They want to make things cheaper, all they have to do is end preferential treatment of Unions in granting contracts and the costs will plummet.

James, maybe you missed the... (Below threshold)

James, maybe you missed the point of the article.

The feds now have to have their own "staffing firm" do keep up with demand. If you REALLY think that government can operate more efficiently than the private sector because the private sector has overhead, then... well we don't need to go any further with the discussion.

Paul, the government has ha... (Below threshold)

Paul, the government has had a "staffing firm" for ages. Also, it's proven that in many cases contracted positions cost more than GS positions. This is not an argument, it is fact. I work for the Navy. We have such positions on our installation. It is similar to what James said, you not only pay the cost of the contracted employee you pay the organization as well. Contracts also have a way of costing more than the bids that won them in the first place.

Theoretically, contractors provide a valuable service, especially in techincal and blue-collar jobs. They can bring advanced technology to a project quicker than the government systems can. Using contractors to provide services that are typically hourly, wage-grade positions IS a money-savings step. However, your more white-collar positions - financial management, human resources, public affairs, legal - are all better performed by GS employees. This is because a GS employee, by nature of the system, have tons of government experience in their field and can provide continuity to an organization that a contractor cannot. Especially in a military setting.

Oh, I forgot to complete my... (Below threshold)

Oh, I forgot to complete my original thought there. That "staffing firm" is an arm of the Office of Personnel Management.

Paul -- Did you ev... (Below threshold)
James H:

Paul --

Did you even pay attention to what I wrote? I said that in some instances contractors are a better solution, and in some instances GS employees are a better solution. I don't support converting everything to contractors or everything to GS. I support analyzing these contracts individually, as they come up, to determine whether the positions they envisage are better filled by GS employees.

Retired Military makes a great point about tenure and temporary positions. The ability to shuffle off the contractor at the end of a contract is a valuable ability, particular if the short-term need has been filled.

But for longer-term needs? At times, a GS employee is a better investment.






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