The Federal government is the nation's biggest employer, and it plans to hire even more this year, thanks to President Obama's stimulus package and recently proposed budget . Hiring by the executive branch will increase 15.6% for the 2010 fiscal year (which officially starts October 1). Salaries will increase too -- the average pay per federal works will go from $72,800 now to $75,419 next fiscal year.

The overall number of slots isn't definitive, but here are a few agencies that have announced hiring plans and/or increases in their overall budgets:
  • According to the Washington Post, the Department of Veterans Affairs will hire more than 17,000 doctors, nurses and clerks, while the Social Security Administration's 10% budget increase will let it hire more staff for local field offices and tele-service centers.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports budget increases for the Food and Drug Administration, which wants to speed up review of drug applications; the Agricultural Department, which needs more food-product inspectors; the Labor Department, which needs more staff to enforce workplace rules; and the Internal Revenue Service, which needs to beef up efforts to collect more taxes to pay for this hiring spree. Even the Pentagon is getting a boost -- to hire more civil servants to replace outside contractors to the Department of Defense.
  • The FBI announced one of the largest hiring blitzes in its history, needing more than 2,100 professional staff employees and 850 special agents. Besides the standard skills of computer science and language fluency it is always looking for, the FBI now has positions ranging from accountants to auto mechanics.
  • The Border Patrol, which has been hiring for a while now since it became part of the Department of Homeland Security, has been holding job fairs recently, and Obama is giving even more of a budget boost to keep on hiring agents for the Border Patrol, Customs and Immigration division.
My husband bit at that last one. As a helicopter pilot with too few hours to qualify for most flight jobs, he was struggling to get work. Because the Border Patrol uses helicopters, he saw a door with a slight crack to get through, although he would have to start as a "ground pounder" along the southern border. Eight months after passing the first test in the application process (there would be so many steps to come), he got a call from Border Patrol announcing he was required to start training at its academy in Artesia, New Mexico, on June 1.

After he finishes there in the fall, with fluency in Spanish, among other things, he'll report for duty in Marfa, Texas, a tiny but surprisingly chic art colony of a town. So hey, there could be worse places to land. And in this recession, a steady paycheck, full medical benefits and a federal pension is hard to beat.

The Federal government's official job website is USAJobs.gov if you want to start searching for a dream job in the Obama Administration. Looks like the listings there will keep increasing for the time being.

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