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Home  > Article

What's the Job Outlook in Government?

By Laura Gordon

Due to recent economic instability, job growth in the US government is expected to lag behind that of other industries during the next decade, and a focus on homeland security will begin to take effect.

Federal: Slowed Growth, Increased Competition

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, job growth at the federal, state and local level are all predicted to lag behind that of all other industries combined through much of the next decade. Government entities, while relatively immune to short-term economic events, are subject to more long-term trends, particularly the resistance to higher taxes.

At the federal level, staff increases created by the post- 9/11 focus on homeland security are apt to be offset by cost cutting, the increased use of private contractors, and "devolution" (turning over programs to state and local government).

Competition is also expected to increase, as more workers appeal to the stability of government jobs during periods of economic uncertainty.

Going Local

The solution may be to turn to state and local positions, as job growth in those levels- while still lower than normal- is expected to be much greater than at the federal level.

Growth at state and local offices will come partially through the redistribution of programs from Washington as well as the increased demand for police and fire protection, and social services for the elderly, the disabled, and children.

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