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NASA workers are most satisfied federal employees

Tuesday - 11/27/2012, 10:32am  ET

federal workers (AP)
Federal employees, for the most part, like their careers. (AP/WTOP composite)

WASHINGTON - Maybe Curiosity's successful landing on Mars has something to do with it.

Maybe it's the appeal of Mohawk Guy.

But a recent survey shows NASA employees have the highest job satisfaction of all federal workers.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Office of Management and Budget are next in line.

According to the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, which gauges employees' perceptions of their agencies, 80 percent of federal employees said they like their jobs.

Employees answered a range of questions from pay and pensions to hours worked to how much pleasure their careers gave them.

But scores on every index declined. On 36 questions, satisfaction declined between 2 percent and 5 percent from a year ago.

For example, compared to a year ago, employees were slightly less likely to recommend their agencies as good places to work. And, satisfaction with pay dipped to its lowest level since 2004, according to the survey results.

"Stresses on public servants - including continued tight budgets and pay freezes - are reflected in our Global Satisfaction indicator, even while more than two-thirds of employees recommend their organization as a good place to work," says Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry, in a letter attached to the survey results.

For 2012, twice as many workers -- 687,687 -- responded to the survey compared to 2011. OPM conducted the survey under the Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework.

Here are the agencies where federal workers are the most satisfied:

Top Agency Rankings by HCAAF Index   
Job satisfaction: Top agencies  
National Aeronautics and Space Administration174
Nuclear Regulatory Commission273
Office of Management and Budget372
National Credit Union Administration372
Department of State571
Federal Trade Commission670
General Services Administration670
Department of Commerce869
Office of Personnel Management869
Railroad Retirement Board869
Department of Transportation869

Check out the full survey.

WTOP's Lacey Mason and Jeanne Meserve contributed to this report. Follow @LaceyWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)