“No New Jobs”? There Are Lots Of New (Government) Jobs!

Austin Hill
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Posted: Dec 19, 2010 12:01 AM
“No New Jobs”? There Are Lots Of New (Government) Jobs!

American corporations have begun posting healthy profits. Banks that were once “on the brink” have now been stabilized and are flush with cash. It seems like we’ve got the makings of an economic “recovery,” and now we just need American businesses to start hiring workers in large numbers – right?

Well, yes, “hiring new workers” would seem to be the missing piece of the recovery puzzle. And based on some of the rhetoric from our nation’s capitol, it also seems like Washington politicians are among the most “puzzled” as to why, after all the terrific things they have done for us in the past couple of years, American companies still don’t want to expand their payrolls.

In reality, some of those “terrific things” done by our politicians have given American businesses a reason to not hire new workers. But I won’t let “reality” disrupt a nice narrative about “new jobs.” Regardless of how people may be sacrificing or “doing without” in the private sector, and no matter how cautious or tepid the world of private enterprise may be, our U.S. Federal Government isn’t holding back a bit. Government agencies are advertising plenty of openings for “new jobs,” and we should all be aware of the hiring spree.

If you’ve never perused the website USAJOBS.gov, make it a point to visit. Described as the “Federal Government’s official one-stop source for Federal jobs and employment information,” USAJOBS.gov is a website operated by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, a division of our government that was established back in January of 1979.

The precise intricacies of this governmental division are too cumbersome and bureaucratic to describe in detail here (think of all the jobs “created or saved” just keeping these details straight). Yet, the Office of Personnel Management emanates largely from the Executive Branch of our government, with very little oversight from the legislative or judicial branches, nor from the offices of the various cabinet secretaries.

The “why work for America?” page of USAJOBS.gov proudly declares that the Federal Government is “the nation’s largest employer,” and claims that holding down a “government job” allows one the opportunity to “address the tough challenges that our country is facing today,” to “contribute to projects that affect the lives of over 300 million people,” and to “help make a difference.” Right from the start, our fellow Americans at our Office of Personnel Management are very clear about how important they believe themselves to be.

Real enlightenment happens when you begin to look at the many job postings. I find it especially intriguing when the word “diversity” or the acronym “EEO” is in the job title – one gets the impression that, under current leadership, our government has elevated “diversity” and “EEO” matters and “ethnicity” to especially high levels of importance.

Take for example a current opening at the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration Division (the repetitive and duplicative terminology here is not my own – this is how it appears on the website). The position is entitled “Equal Employment Specialist/Diversity Management Specialist;” the position pays “$105, 211.011+;” and it requires one to relocate to Rockville, MD.

So what do you do when you’re job title is “Equal Employment Specialist/Diversity Management Specialist” and you work for the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Division? Column space is too limited here to copy the entire list of duties, but a few of the bullet points read like this:

“Develop, coordinate, review and evaluate the diversity management program for a Federal agency…Identify barriers to equal employment opportunity with a Federal Agency and recommend changes in management policies and practices…Coordinate the development of a Federal Agency affirmative action plans and monitors progress in achieving goals and objectives (it’s unclear whether the word “plans” is intended as a noun or a verb in this sentence, but regardless it appears to be misspelled) …Provide advice to agency managers and keys staff officials on the long and short-range goals of the agency’s diversity and employment program…”

It is difficult for me, a mere mortal from the business world, to understand what is being articulated here. However it seems that whoever gets hired for this position will be arranging meetings, reviewing documents, perhaps generating new documents, reviewing the newly generated documents, perhaps holding more meetings, and then maybe discussing the newly generated documents (and the old documents that have been reviewed) in the meetings.

In short, it looks like an employment position that has been created for the sake of creating an employment position. Yet there is no reason to believe it will improve anybody’s “health” or “human services.”

I was similarly impressed with a job opening at the U.S. Department of the Treasury for an “EEO Complaints Management Specialist.” This is a job with the government wherein the occupant processes complaints made against the government, based on claims that the government is out of compliance with government EEO regulations.

Review the website and see for yourself. This current trajectory of our bloated Federal Government is, in a word, “unsustainable” (the words “Greece” and “France” come to mind as well). It’s time to tell the Congress and the President “stop!”