Government Forever Jobs Rarely Lay Off or Fire

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According to the latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6 million Americans are currently unemployed. While that’s still below pandemic levels, it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in workers, who fear being laid off or fired.

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One sector of jobs, however, appears to be adamant: the US government. According to a new article in the Washington Examiner, federal employees are very rarely fired or fired and enjoy more protections. This is partly because President Joe Biden is pushing harder to hire union workers for these jobs, more so than Trump before him.

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The article cited recent data showing that out of 1.6 million government employees, only 4,000 have lost their jobs in recent years – just 1% of the population holding those positions. And those fired from performing usually get the job back through the work of an arbitrator. The American First Policy Institute has reported that over 50% return to work after being laid off, and usually with back pay.

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“The combination of long delays, followed by high cancellation rates and back-payment obligations, makes trying to lay off unionized workers very risky for agencies,” the AFPI study pointed out.

In fact, the Washington Business Journal reported that it can take up to 370 days (more than a year!) for a federal employee to be fired. This is because there is a strict protocol with several important steps before a worker is fired. This includes performance monitoring and giving feedback, documenting incidents and involving other departments, a mandatory probationary period and the creation of termination documents that require a signature.

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“Furthermore, employees then have the right to lodge a complaint with the Merit Systems Protection Board. And throughout the dismissal process, they can file a reasonable accommodation request, file a grievance, or file an equal employment opportunity grievance, which lengthens the process,” the outlet said.

Given the time involved and the high rate of overrules by arbitrators, most departmental senior officials skip the process altogether.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can just slack off in these roles and face no consequences. According to Chron, you can still be fired, but it must be for a just cause while following the proper procedures, because federal employees — unlike most private sector jobs — are not volunteer workers.

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The other benefit is that there are a number of federal jobs that people of all skill levels and experience levels can apply for. According to, the most common government jobs include nurses, compliance inspectors, IT managers, social security administrators, attorney generals, and border guards.

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According to Indeed, the highest-paying government jobs that rank in the top 5 are physicians and anesthesiologists, political affairs officials, mathematicians, and mechanical engineers.

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Indeed also touts the additional benefits (along with job security) that come with federal employment. These include comprehensive health plans and pensions, competitive salaries including raises and promotions, and work-life balance with a paid day off every federal holiday.

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