Cherry blossoms bloom on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol Building
Cherry blossoms bloom on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol Building - 
Listen To The Story


Steve Chiotakis: While all the jobs and "Help Wanted" signs seem to be going away, there's a big fair in D.C. today that aims to fill a bunch of government positions. Here's Marketplace's John Dimsdale.

John Dimsdale: There are three times as many RSVPs for this year's jobs fair. It's sponsored by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, whose president, Max Stier, predicts the federal government will hire 600,000 people over the next four years.

But he says the interest this year is more than just the availability of jobs:

Max Stier: Government now is more real and important in the public's mind than it's been in at least a couple generations. Whether it's solving the financial crisis or the two wars or you name it, that makes people interested.

Melody Gilbert is one of those people. She just earned her psychology degree from the University of Washington and hopes to land a job with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Melody Gilbert: There is an absolutely new life breathed into Washington, and the atmosphere and people's expectations of federal work is completely changing.

Gilbert is attracted by the government benefits that will help pay off her student loans, and by the upward mobility created in part by the coming wave of baby boomer retirements.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.