Death is the Most Effective H.R. Manager for Federal Employees

From USA Today, an analysis of just how tough it is to get canned if you're a federal employee:

Death — rather than poor performance, misconduct or layoffs — is the primary threat to job security at theEnvironmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Management and Budget and a dozen other federal operations.

The federal government fired 0.55% of its workers in the budget year that ended Sept. 30 — 11,668 employees in its 2.1 million workforce. Research shows that the private sector fires about 3% of workers annually for poor performance, says John Palguta, former research chief at the federal Merit Systems Protection Board, which handles federal firing disputes.

No matter how many times I read stats of employee dismissal rates, I always remain surprised at how low they are even in the supposedly dog-eat-dog private sector. Just 3 percent of workers get fired annually for sucking? That seems about right in my experience yet I always expect it to be so much higher.

Anyhoo, Dennis Cauchon's story is full of dueling quotes such as this pair:

HUD spokesman Jerry Brown says his department's low dismissal rate — providing a 99.85% job security rate for employees — shows a skilled and committed workforce. "We've never focused on firing people, and we don't intend to start now. We're more focused on hiring the right people," he says.

San Francisco State University management professorJohn Sullivan, an expert on employee turnover, says the low departure rates show a failure to release poor performers and those with obsolete skills. "Rather than indicating something positive, rates below 1% in the firing and layoff components would indicate a serious management problem," he says.

Postal workers, uniformed military types, and seasonal workers are not included in this analysis.

Read the whole thing here.

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  • The Taxpayers||

    "We've never focused on firing people, and we don't intend to start now. We're more focused on hiring the right people."

    Fuck us.

  • PIRS||

    "Postal workers, uniformed military types, and seasonal workers are not included in this analysis."

    This might be true of the uniformed military as well but for entirely different reasons.

  • Ice Nine||

    Ditto postal workers.

  • sarcasmic||

    At least dead people don't collect pensions.

  • Rich||

  • sarcasmic||

    figures

  • Human Race's Doomed Genepool||

    I love a man in uniform. Come here, you sexy public sector tiger with your double plus job security, make me some babies!

  • ||

    But their legitimately married opposite sex spouses get those pensions and now gay marriage survival spouses will as well.

  • ||

    When is Nick going to write up about this USA Today story?

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/p.....tics_n.htm

  • Mister DNA||

    I didn't see anything in the article pointing out that it's the fault of the Bush administration and racist Teabaggers any time a federal employee dies.

    Shoddy reporting.

  • coniefoxdresses||

    "Death is the Most Effective H.R. Manager for Federal Employees", how irony for our claim to civilized society ?

  • I hate conie||

    Mass murder is okay when the state does it because they have the right, civilized attitude. It is not done out of hate like a tea bagger shooting spree egged on by eliminationist rhetoric, but instead collateral damage in the march towards progress.

  • HUD spokesman Jerry Brown||

    San Francisco State University management professor John Sullivan, an expert on employee turnover, says the low departure rates show a failure to release poor performers and those with obsolete skills. "Rather than indicating something positive, rates below 1% in the firing and layoff components would indicate a serious management problem," he says.

    We've never focused on serious management problems, and we don't intend to start now

  • PIRS||

    "Blue-collar workers are twice as likely to be fired as white-collar employees. The federal government's 12,700 food preparation workers had the highest rate of getting fired last year — 2.5%."

    When you are producing an actual product or service - rather than pushing pointless paperwork - there is a standard by which performance can actually be measured. How do you measure the performance of a job that is not needed to begin with?

  • Jeffersonian||

    Loyalty to the Party?

  • Justin Cases||

    Having spent 10 years working in IT in local government as a contractor and direct employee, I can say its the same.
    Out of an IT department of around 20, there are probably only 2 who can actually write a lick of code and maybe a few more that can write SQL.
    Incompetence isn't an issue and excuses are easily accepted, i.e. the database goes down every other day due to server mismanagement by a DBA who doesn't know how to get the next value from a sequence.
    The one time they did try and fire someone, HR rejected it because he was the only black person in the dept (this was at an agency that is around 75% black). Preferences were given to minorities based on color and/or gender which really sucks in IT because it is mostly made up of geeky white guys.

  • sarcasmic||

    Clearly you are racist if you have observed that people who are not geeky white guys are not attracted to IT.
    I am also racist because I observed that there were no black people in my university's Computer Science department. Not one.

    Racism on the part of the observer is the only possible explanation.

  • PR||

    at least we now know the most effective way to reduce the federal workforce.

  • HUD Spokesman Jerry Brown||

    We've never focused on offing people, and we don't intend to start now.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Andrew Breitbart and Glenn Beck are also effective at making federal employees not.

  • ||

    The federal government fired 0.55% of its workers in the budget year that ended Sept. 30 — 11,668 employees in its 2.1 million workforce. Research shows that the private sector fires about 3% of workers annually for poor performance

    This proves government workers are morally and functionally superior to private sector workers, right?

  • HUD Spokesman Jerry Brown||

    Not necessarily. We're more focused on hiring the right people.

  • ||

    The federal government's 12,700 food preparation workers had the highest rate of getting fired last year — 2.5%.

    Whereas most private industry food service employers would be happy if that was their monthly turnover rate.

  • Tolly||

    "Death is the Most Effective H.R. Manager for Federal Employees"

    Wait is this an opinion or a proposal?

  • ||

    A plan for the next million man march on DC?

  • ||

    Also working in a job-for-life "industry." Not being able to fire people creates some powerful warping of market forces. For one thing, we hire as few people as possible and when we do hire them, it's a tortuous months-long process.

    We've fired one person in the 10 years I've been here. 12 have died, if memory serves, 2 of them at work from non-accidents.

  • kinnath||

    You've just described the entire French economy.

  • ||

    2 of them at work from non-accidents.

    You killed them for their pancreases, didn't you?

  • ||

    I'll alibied my pancreas dozens of times.

  • ||

    The article just brushed right over the most stunning fact; THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS 2.1 MILLION CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES!

    Holy fucking shit!

    I have worked for some of the biggest companies in the country. When I was at Prudential we had 65,000 employees (including our full-time agents). 2.1 million is a number so absurd it's hard to fathon what any of them actually do. And it doesn't include the Post Office or military personnel.

    How about we fire 25% of them today? I bet nobody outside of DC would notice. Fire another 10% every year until we do notice a drop in "services" whatever they are.

  • SFC B||

    Throw in the post office and the uniformed services and you're probably looking at 6,000,000 Federal Gov employees.

  • ||

    No. But throw in the Post Office and Amtrak and you get another 600,000.

    Current US military stregnth: 1.477 million active duty. 1.458 Reserve personnel.

    There are also 700,000 civil servants in the DOD that are counted as part of the 2.1 million.

  • adam||

    I have to think the federal firing rate is a little underreported. It's such a hassle to formally fire someone that they often get pushed out informally. When I worked for a federal agency a few years ago, we had a guy who engaged in what was pretty clearly sexual harassment. The guy saw the writing on the wall and left 'voluntarily' before they were able to go through all the steps to fire him. I'm still pretty sure that federal jobs are more secure than private sector though.

  • ||

    Pretty sure?

    Working in the corporate world these days is like being a contestant on Survivor. Somebody gets voted out every week - and we ran out of the lazy ones months ago.

  • mofo||

    "White-collar federal workers have almost total job security after a few years on the job. Last year, the government fired none of its 3,000 meteorologists, 2,500 health insurance administrators, 1,000 optometrists, 800 historians or 500 industrial property managers."

    I must remember to bring this up when Tony or some other blathering leftist claims that reducing the budget even one cent will make grandmothers starve in the streets and children die of disease. Not that those guys have any use for facts, but still.

  • Number 2||

    "No matter how many times I read stats of employee dismissal rates, I always remain surprised at how low they are even in the supposedly dog-eat-dog private sector. Just 3 percent of workers get fired annually for sucking? That seems about right in my experience yet I always expect it to be so much higher."

    So much for the left-wing fantasy that we private employers fire people at the drop of a hat. Except for when a company is hurting financially, even nasty profit-making entities are reluctant to fire people.

  • ||

    I must be working at the wrong places - we lay people off the moment volume drops.

  • JD the Elder||

    That could be the difference between "fired" ("there is something wrong with you, Mr. Employee") and "laid off" ("there is something wrong with the company"). My guess is that even the lousy employees probably have a non-zero productivity. If you fire them, you have firstly an open position, so someone is going to have to fill whatever productive function the ex-employee was doing, and then a new employee, who probably has negative productivity while somebody else has to show them the ropes. And even after that, you have no guarantee they're going to be better than the old employee. Given that, I can understand why someone would have to be pretty bad before they'd get fired.

  • ||

    These days, companies are literally laying off random people and waiting to see if the rest can handle the work.

    Six Sigma, Lean, Process Reenginering -Do more with less is what it's all aboutl That's how companies are making profits even though revenue stinks.

    The feds just add more people and let the old ones continue to sit around.

  • Old Mexican||

    San Francisco State University management professorJohn Sullivan, an expert on employee turnover, says the low departure rates show a failure to release poor performers and those with obsolete skills. "Rather than indicating something positive, rates below 1% in the firing and layoff components would indicate a serious management problem," he says.


    Au contraire, it shows a positive thing... for Unions and the extorted union dues.

  • NL_||

    I like how, between two alternative explanations of inadequate management or superhuman management, the spokesman for government management thinks that it's more plausible the government is just way, way better managed than the private sector.

  • Brad Warbiany||

    Research shows that the private sector fires about 3% of workers annually for poor performance

    And how many of those eventually migrate into the public sector where they no longer have to worry about being fired?

  • scarpe Nike Store||

    is good

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