December 19, 2013
NASA Holds Top Spot As Best Government Job In America
[ Watch the Video: NASA Is The Best Government Job Ever: Employee Poll ]
Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
The report, produced by the non-profit Partnership for Public Service, was based on a survey of nearly 400,000 federal employees conducted from April through June – when budget cuts were severely hitting several sectors of government.
"NASA’s selection as the Best Place to Work in Government for the second year in a row is a testament to the excellence of our workforce and their determination to maintain America’s leadership in space exploration,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in an official statement.
"In a year of budget uncertainty and a government shutdown, NASA employees never missed a beat,” Bolden said. “In the tradition of the 'can do' spirit that has enabled us for more than 50 years to turn science fiction into science fact, they have consistently rolled up their sleeves and worked hard at achieving our major goals which include leading the expansion of a domestic commercial space industry for low-Earth orbit transportation, and developing a heavy lift launch capability to take humans farther than they have ever explored – to an asteroid in the next decade and to Mars by the 2030s.”
"I am honored and proud to lead such a dedicated team of employees,” he added. “They are what make NASA the Best Place to Work in Government."
In the survey, NASA employees reported the highest job satisfaction and commitment score – a 74 out of 100. Employees from the Department of Commerce reported the second-highest score, nearly 68, and the Intelligence Community came in third at just over 67.
The report found that the overall morale of federal employees fell for the third straight year, to the lowest level since the first report was published in 2003.
"We are dismantling the capability of our government by the way it's being managed, and the people in government are giving that message back,” Max Stier, president and chief executive of the Partnership for Public Service, told The Huffington Post. “It should be really worrisome to anyone who cares about our country.”
Because the survey was conducted over the spring and summer, it did not take into account the effects of the government shutdown in October that forced approximately 800,000 people out of work. During the shutdown, these workers were unpaid; however, Congress did eventually approved of providing back-pay.
According to Stier, the shutdown should have driven job satisfaction numbers even lower.
"I think that if the survey were done today, I have no doubt the results would be lower," he said. "We continue to dig a deeper and deeper hole, and the shutdown was devastating in all kinds of ways. Most fundamentally because the workforce that we have in government is a mission-oriented workforce. They want to do their jobs. They're there because they want to make a difference for the public. The most damaging thing you can do for someone who's mission-oriented is tie their hands behind their back and say, 'You can't help.'"