Government prepares large-scale hiring

Marketplace Staff Mar 4, 2009
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Government prepares large-scale hiring

Marketplace Staff Mar 4, 2009
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Steve Chiotakis: The federal payroll could swell by tens of thousands of workers under President Obama’s proposed budget. More staff will be needed to help carry out new plans or overhaul existing programs in areas such as health care, energy independence and education. From Washington, Ronni Radbill reports.


Ronni Radbill: The administration touted more private sector growth with its $3.6 trillion spending plan. But what the proposal creates are thousands of new government jobs.

Max Stier, president of the Partnership for Public Service, says this is long overdue:

Max Stier: The federal government has been on a starvation diet for quite some time. Our direct head count today is no larger than it was than it was during the 1960’s.

It’s not known exactly how many new workers will be hired. Some estimates put the number as high as a quarter of a million.

One agency that’ll get a boost is the Social Security Administration. Commissioner Mike Astrue says his budget could increase by 10 percent.

Mike Astrue: We’re going to be hiring over 5,000 people in the last six months of the fiscal year. It’s actually quite a challenge for us. We’ve been planning for this for a number of months.

But critics say adding tens of thousands of new government jobs will only keep federal spending at current levels. In the words of one naysayer, “you can’t put the genie back in the bottle.”

In Washington, I’m Ronni Radbill for Marketplace.

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