11/29/2004

Many Federal Employees Can Retire in Five Years

Washington may soon be facing a problem when "roughly half of current employees will be eligible to retire between now and the end of 2008, including aslmost 70 percent of supervisors." The article, written in U.S. News and World Report, is calling the potential problem a "brain drain." Many of the departments and agencies are noticing that many of their employees are going to become eligible for retirement in the next few years and are trying to create incentives to retain its workforce until qualified individuals can replace them. Some agencies have begun to market themselves to potential applicants the same way a company would in the private sector. One example is NASA has started putting booths at job fairs at many colleges and universities around the country to attract younger applicants. Incentives such as above-minimum starting salary, and payment for interview expenses may also be used to make the job more attractive.

This may be to the advantage to many of us who are looking for jobs right out of school. The article does point out that many choose to work in the private sector because more money can be made outside government agencies. There are several jobs that pay really well, but those jobs are so competitive that it is nearly impossible to get those jobs. Maybe now that the need for new employees is going to go up in the near future, the job market will become stronger and be to the advantage of the job seeker than to the advantage of the company.

5 comments:

Taber Wolrab said...

This is a great time for college graduates. Government jobs are fairly steady, though they may not pay quite as well as other private sectors. The demand for jobs is most certainly going to be increasing in the next few years with that many people at the edge of retirement. Good news for us!

Maudi said...
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Dr. Tufte said...

This is kind of typical of how government agencies work. Part of the reason for this was the big upswing in government hiring in the 1960s. To get those people then, the government had to offer them a better deal than they could get elsewhere. But that group is starting to retire now. And the government has to jump through these extra hoops to get applicants because they've spent the last 30-40 years establishing a reputation as a low wage payer. So, they profited from their monopsony position, and now they are facing payback time.

pramahaphil said...
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miles said...

The government does offer plenty of benefits but I wonder if they will have to raise their pay to compete with other firms for recruiting college grads. The brain drain is not only in government organizations. The baby boomers are now nearing retirement positions and firms are working to fill those positions. Would it be possible for starting salaries to rise from these jobs as employers work for filling the retired posistions? I don't think that the baby boomers retiring will have that drastic effect. Some companies are already taking small steps such keeping the old people part time to train the newly employed to avoid these issues.