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.