While many companies have been cutting staff and freezing new hires this year, the government is laying out the welcome mat. Public-sector jobs at the federal, state and local level have risen by 327,000 positions so far in 2023, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is approaching one-fifth of all new American jobs created in the first eight months of the year.
In contrast, public-sector jobs accounted for 5% of employment growth during the equivalent period last year. “After two years of very underwhelming government hiring, it’s a necessary catch-up," said Julia Pollak, an economist at online jobs site ZipRecruiter. Much of the recent hiring spree has been to backfill jobs left open by millions of teachers, police officers and other public servants who quit during the pandemic.
Other roles at government agencies languished because the public sector couldn’t effectively compete against private employers that were offering pay raises and signing bonuses to attract talent during several years of a white-hot labor market. But just as layoffs hit sectors from tech to finance, government agencies have boosted funding for new hires and have dangled richer perks. This year’s growth in public-sector jobs represents the highest share of overall U.S.
payroll gains since 2001, when the government hired masses of workers focused on public safety after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pollak said. Perks and pay bumps U.S. Customs and Border Protection has bulked up its staffing along the border with Mexico, and is offering recruitment bonuses as high as $20,000 for hard-to-fill jobs in some locations.Read more on livemint.com