September 3, 2009
Contact: Sarah Howe


Attorneys, Paralegals, Investigators, Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, Police Officers, Airport Screeners, Customs and Border Patrol Agents and Intelligence Analysts Top Federal Government's "Most Wanted" List

Washington, D.C. –Great news for job seekers this Labor Day: the federal government is hiring tens of thousands of new employees, according to new projections in Where the Jobs Are 2009: Mission-Critical Opportunities for America, released today by the Partnership for Public Service. The online projections outline government-wide, mission-critical hiring needs through 2012 and are based on a survey of 35 federal agencies representing nearly 99 percent of the 1.9 million member federal workforce.

Available at, the online data lists nearly 273,000 mission-critical jobs that need to be filled in the next three years, a 41 percent increase compared to the organization’s 2007 survey. Where the Jobs Are is the only comprehensive projection of the federal government’s hiring needs and is searchable by occupation or by agency.

The government’s biggest demand for new employees is in the medical and public health fields with 54,114 jobs that need to be filled including 31,455 nurses, 10,626 doctors and thousands of nursing assistants, pharmacists, nutritionists, consumer safety and other public health specialists.  Security and protection jobs are next on the list with 52,077 positions available world-wide ranging from 3,669 police officers to 34,500 transportation security officers. 

Other fields in high demand include compliance and enforcement with 31,276 projected positions; legal with 23,596 jobs; and administration and program management, 17,287.

“For job-seekers motivated by a desire to make a difference and improve the lives of Americans, there are no better possibilities than those provided by our federal government,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. “This report confirms that the job opportunities are there. People need to seize them.”

According to the data, two key factors are driving the federal government’s hiring projections for the next three years:

  • National security and the need to support veterans are big reasons for new hiring. The largest increase will come at the Department of Veterans Affairs, up 59 percent compared to 2007 figures with 48,159 jobs to fill. The Department of Homeland Security has a record 65,730 projected openings, up 37 percent and the Department of Defense is up 22 percent, with 43,514 projected hires.
  • The need to replace hundreds of thousands of retiring federal workers.  Nearly one-third of the 1.9 million member federal workforce is expected to retire or resign in the next five years, translating to tens of thousands of job opportunities across government.

In addition, Where the Jobs Areshows the federal government needs to hire:

  • Attorneys, paralegals and other legal experts to fill more than 23,000 jobs at 21 federal agencies including the EPA, FDA and the Department of Justice.
  • About 5,696 human resource professionals at 14 agencies that have identified HR as a mission-critical occupation.
  • Biological science experts to fill 4,886 jobs at the Departments of Agriculture ,Commerce, Homeland Security,  EPA and other agencies.
  • Border patrol agents, customs officers, food inspectors and other compliance and enforcement positions to fill more than 30,000 positions at the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and other agencies.
  • Accountants, tax examiners, auditors and budget and financial analysts to fill 16,644 jobs at the IRS, Department of Treasury and 15 other agencies.
  • IT experts for 11,549 positions.
  • Engineers to fill more than 10,642 jobs at the Departments of Defense and Transportation, NASA and more.

New hires for all types of federal government positions during the full four years of Obama’s term will reach nearly 600,000 or almost one-third of the current federal workforce, according to separate research from the organization.

“It’s important to note that while there has been considerable growth in mission-critical jobs, the government is not growing significantly larger in historical terms. By the end of 2012, with all new hires, our nation’s workforce will still be smaller than it was in 1967, said Stier.

Additional highlights for the job seeker:

  • The federal government offers recruitment bonuses, retention and relocation incentives and graduate school scholarship. And, they offer student loan repayments -- up to $10,000 per year for a total of $60,000 in exchange for at least three years of service. The Department of Justice leads agencies in student loan repayments, granting 2,610 repayments at more than $23.4 million.  
  • There are jobs for every interest and skill, with more than 2,000 separate job categories at 15 cabinet-level agencies, 20 large and 80 small agencies.
  • Jobs are available all over the world. Nearly 85 percent of federal jobs are located outside of Washington, D.C. and more than 44,000 are stationed abroad. Areas with the highest numbers of federal workers include San Antonio, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York City, Dallas/Fort Worth, Baltimore, Tampa, Chicago and Los Angeles.
  • The federal government values diversity. About 17.2 percent of all workers are African-American, 7.5 percent are Hispanic, 5.1 percent are Asian/Pacific Islanders and 2.1 percent are Native American.

The complete Where the Jobs Are report can be accessed at Visitors to the site can also access hiring projections by agency and occupational field, get tips on finding and applying for a federal job, learn background information about dozens of agencies and read about hiring incentives such as student loan repayment, special internships and scholarships used by some agencies.

The Partnership for Public Service is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to revitalize our federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works. To learn more, visit

The Partnership’s Where the Jobs Are 2009: Mission-Critical Opportunities for America was made possible with support from Monster Government Solutions and Aon Consulting. Additional funding was provided by the Annenberg Foundation.

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The Partnership for Public Service is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to revitalize our federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works.