- After missing their first paycheck during the government shutdown, federal workers went job hunting on Glassdoor, increasing their numbers on the job board by 10%, new data shows. The spike in applications is equivalent to 400 people leaving the U.S. government’s employ a month, according to Glassdoor.
- The data suggests that shutdowns also risk chasing away potential hires, hurting the government's ability to attract top talent and damaging its position as an employer in the long term.
- Glassdoor's information also shows that the number of applications for federal jobs during the shutdown plunged by 46% and that the number could fall even further later this year.
The government shutdown — the longest on record — drove some federal workers to gig jobs with Fiverr, Uber, Airbnb and TaskRabbit. And while the closure ended Jan. 25, another is on the horizon, unless members of Congress and the president can come to a budget agreement by Feb. 15. This instability in a job sector traditionally treasured for its security, good pay and benefits may have been the last straw for some federal workers who also have seen pay and hiring freezes in recent years.
In January 2018, NPR reported that morale in the government was generally low. Morale "is the lowest that I have ever seen it in my just shy of 40 years" of working with federal employees, J. David Cox Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees, told NPR at the time.
But for private-sector employers struggling to overcome a talent shortage, the shutdown may offer a hiring opportunity as federal workers begin to look for employment elsewhere. PayScale noted in a recent study that, with the current labor market's record-low unemployment rate, more federal workers may be looking to the private sector to increased pay and stability. This shift comes at a time when Washington is already bracing for Amazon's arrival — a move that's predicted to cost the federal government substantial tech talent.