Federal job-seekers drop as shutdown dings job-security reputation

WASHINGTON — The partial federal government shutdown might have harmed the federal government’s reputation as a stable employer with strong job security.

The job site Glassdoor notes that as the shutdown entered the news cycle in mid-December, the number of applications to government jobs initiated on Glassdoor began to decline. As the shutdown continued, the decline accelerated: The number of applications to government jobs at affected agencies was down, in some cases by 46 percent compared with a year earlier.

As the shutdown continued, the number of Glassdoor applications to government jobs at affected agencies was down in some cases 46 percent compared with a year earlier. (Courtesy Glassdoor)

“The federal government hires around 30,000 workers every month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not only has the shutdown put a temporary pause on hiring, but it also hurts the federal government’s reputation as an employer and its ability to attract top talent,” Glassdoor said.

Glassdoor notes the government is already competing fiercely with the private sector for scarce workers in a labor market with record low unemployment. The shutdown is an added hit to the government’s ability to attract top-tier talent, and Glassdoor expects that effect may last long past the end of the shutdown.

Glassdoor also noted an increase in employees at federal agencies affected by the shutdown searching for work. (Courtesy Glassdoor)

On the flip side, the shutdown may also push existing federal government workers into private-sector jobs.

Glassdoor noted an increase in employees at federal agencies affected by the shutdown searching for work — about 10 percent since Jan. 11, when workers missed their first paycheck.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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