From the Topeka Capital Journal:
Between high unemployment and years of downsizing by businesses, rarely have U.S. workers had to worry more about the consequences of underperforming in their work.
But among one segment of the labor force, job security is running at a rate that would make you think the recession never happened.
Which group? Better make sure you’re sitting down, taxpayers. It’s federal government employees.
A new study by USA Today showed that the leading threat to job security among more than a dozen federal government entities wasn’t poor performance, layoffs or misconduct — it was death.
Among the revelations in the study, which examined firings and layoffs in the year that ended Sept. 30, 2010:
• Seven departments or agencies with more than 1,000 employees cut loose six or fewer workers. Two of those entities — Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, which together employ 3,021 workers — didn’t release a single person.
• Overall, the job security rate for federal employees was 99.43 percent. Among employees with more than a few years of experience, it was nearly 100 percent.
• The federal government fired 0.55 percent of its work force. That figure equates to 11,688 of 2.1 million workers. In the private sector, 3 percent of workers are fired annually for not performing up to snuff.
Government work is some deal if you can get it, huh?
And get this: Asked why the government sends so few people packing, the spokesman for the Department of Housing and Urban Development essentially said the workers were all doing a great job.
“We’ve never focused on firing people, and we don’t intend to start now,” said the spokesman. “We’re more focused on hiring the right people.”
Anybody want to argue with the notion that practically no one at HUD, which employs more than 10,000 people, is a weak performer? That’s hard to believe with any group of 10,000.
A more plausible explanation is the government isn’t managing its work force particularly well, and is allowing incompetent workers to hide or slide.
Plus, the layoff figures would suggest there hasn’t been much follow-through on all those promises to rein in government spending.
With taxpayers suffering, there’s no excuse for the imbalance between job security in the private sector and the federal government.
Orignally published by the Topeka Capital Journal, July 20, 2011 :