Federal Tech Hiring Has Declined Since January

Just in time for the government shut down, we learn that Federal IT hiring has slipped throughout 2013. A Computerworld analysis of employment data found that each month this year, fewer tech jobs were posted than during the corresponding month in 2012. Since budget Sequestration took effect in March, IT job listings dropped from about 200 each month to 150. With today’s shutdown, all federal hiring is frozen.

American FlagAt the end of 2012, the government’s IT workforce had grown to almost 83,000. Tech headcount gradually declined since then, to 82,400 in June, according to figures from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s FedScope data bank. Computerworld compiled job data from USAJobs.gov, the Federal employment website, once per month for all listings coded for Information Technology. Those jobs include positions in software, operating systems, network services, system administration and customer support.

Rick Holgate, President of the American Council for Technology and CIO at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told Computerworld that the decline in postings might be due to “a de facto shifting of some of the workload to the private sector.”

Even after the government reopens for business and its hiring picks up again, budget cutbacks from Sequestration will likely continue to impact the number of IT jobs. Holgate said that as people become more cautious about hiring, front-line positions — such as law enforcement — and not jobs in back-office areas — such as IT, Human Resources and Finance — are more likely to be filled first.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

2 Responses to “Federal Tech Hiring Has Declined Since January”

  1. I’ve attempted since 2002 to get an IT Job “of any kind” with the Federal Governemnt through their famous USAJobs web site.. The IT jobs I see offered fall into one of these categories:

    1. The occasional need for a singler person in some obscure location to maintain deskktop computers.
    2. Jobs requiring either a PhD or 3+ years of IT within the federal system.
    3. Jobs which happen to also require an enlistment in the military (which I’m too old for)

  2. Marbran

    @Steve There are plenty of IT jobs advertised. The problem is that they 1) get awarded to H1-B visa holders, or 2) go to someone known to the hiring manager.

    Almost all government jobs, IT or not, are usually staffed with a target candidate before they are even listed. Offering government positions is a powerful perk of being a Fed. You can literally stack an office with the exact personnel mix you want, and no one will ever really question it. You just have to show proof that you played the game by reviewing X number of applications.