CBS News reports:
President Obama’s call last year for “shared sacrifice” doesn’t extend to federal employees, at least based on the details of his administration’s 2010 budget released this week.
At a time when the official unemployment rate is nearing double digits, and 6.35 million people are receiving unemployment benefits, the U.S. government is on a hiring binge.
Executive branch employment — 1.98 million in 2009, excluding the Postal Service and the Defense Department — is set to increase by 15.6 percent for the 2010 fiscal year. Most of that is thanks to the Census Bureau hiring 102,000 temporary workers, but not counting them still yields a net increase of 2 percent in one year.
There’s little belt-tightening in evidence in Washington, D.C.: Counting benefits, the average pay per federal worker will leap from $72,800 in 2008 to $75,419 next year.
Meanwhile, according to Forbes’ layoff tracker, there have been 558,087 layoffs since November 2008 at large public companies; even local school districts aren’t immune. That’s just a sliver of the total unemployed, which government data estimate to be 8.6 percent of the workforce, or an alternate method of reckoning that counts discouraged workers puts at 20 percent.