According to the Labor Department, by early March, the job recovery in the United States was picking up speed, but unemployment was still high at 8.3%, the same number of unemployed for the previous month.

According to government figures, some 227,000 jobs, seasonally adjusted, were added to non-farm payrolls in February. But the unemployment remained steady because new job seekers entered the market, inspired by a new optimism as the economy showed signs of modest improvement.

Good Place to Start
For newcomers to the job quest, or for people resuming their search after stopping, the U.S. government offers numerous employment opportunities and may be a good place to start the hunt for work.

Thousands of federal government job openings are posted daily on the Internet in locations across the country as well as in foreign countries. About half of the current federal workforce is eligible for retirement, so numerous new opportunities become available daily, especially in healthcare, regulatory agencies and other areas of government.

Several websites offer information on job availability, and provides a good place to start a job search. These include: USA Jobs and Government Job. The most comprehensive site for government jobs is offered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Jobs are listed by occupation, government agency and geographic location. Also listed are similar employment opportunities by state and local government, and in the private sector as well.

About 85% of government jobs are in major cities across the country. Jobs may also be found on the specific government agency sites, with many openings not listed on other government sites. These jobs may be listed on USA Jobs.

The FBI, Federal Reserve, Government Accountability Office and CIA, are just a few of the agencies that may not advertise jobs on USA Jobs. Instead, job openings are posted on their individual sites.

For adventurous job seekers with a desire to work overseas, check out FedBizOpps.gov for opportunities around the world, including war zones such as Afghanistan.

Exclusive government job opportunities for veterans and people with disabilities are also available and may accessed on the U.S. OPM's site.

Tough Competition
Keep in mind that the competition for government jobs is fierce, as it is for any job these days. Be sure you qualify, or are even over-qualified, for the job you apply for. Some job counselors advise taking a government job that may not be a perfect fit because once you go to work for the government it's easier to get a different job that may be more suitable.

Whatever your special skills and experience, there may be a place for you in a government job. The government employs a wide variety of skilled and semi-skilled workers. Below are listed the top 25 job categories, according to the U.S. OPM Central Personnel Data File

  • Budget Analysis positions
  • Correctional Officers
  • General Education and Training positions,
  • Including Instructors and Consultants
  • General Biological Science positions
  • Engineering Technicians
  • Tax Examining positions
  • General Engineers
  • Electronics Engineers
  • Human Resources Management positions
  • Medical Officers, including Doctors
  • General Inspection positions, including
  • Investigators and Compliance Officers
  • General Business and Industry positions
  • Air Traffic controllers
  • Contracting positions, including
  • Contract Officers and Specialists
  • Contact Representatives
  • Social Insurance Administration positions
  • General Attorneys
  • Criminal Investigators
  • Secretaries
  • Management and Program Analysis positions
  • Nurses
  • Safety Technicians
  • Information Technology Management positions
  • Miscellaneous Administration and Program positions
  • Miscellaneous Clerks and Assistants

The Bottom Line
The federal, state, county and municipal governments are always hiring. People are retiring, leaving for other positions or just dropping out, so there's bound to be openings. Governments at every level are also launching new agencies and providing new services that require the hiring of personnel. If your search for a government job is not immediately productive, keep looking. New opportunities become available every day. If you're lucky enough to land a government job, you'll enjoy relative job security, excellent health benefits and every federal holiday off.

Related Articles
  1. Economics

    Will North and South Korea Ever Reunite?

    North and South Korea have been divided for over six decades. Some analysts think the two countries could reunify within the next 10 years.
  2. Economics

    The Top 9 Things to Know About Hillary Clinton's Economic View

    Find out where former secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stands on the economy, jobs, trade and education.
  3. Economics

    Is Argentina a Socialist Country?

    Find out why it does not really make sense to call Argentina a socialist country, even though the South American nation has many socialistic tendencies.
  4. Term

    What is the Macro Environment?

    The macro environment is the conditions existing in an economy as a whole, rather than in a single sector or region.
  5. Economics

    How Does National Income Accounting Work?

    National income accounting is an economic term describing the system used by a country to gather data and determine aggregate economic activity.
  6. Economics

    What is a Free Rider Problem?

    In economics, the free rider problem refers to someone being able to get, for less or even for free, what others pay more for.
  7. Economics

    2 Countries That Are Friends With North Korea

    Learn about the few international allies of North Korea and the reasons the country is largely politically isolated from the rest of the world.
  8. Investing

    How To Invest For The Greater Good

    We discuss why is important to prioritize economic, social and governance factors when making investment decisions, regardless of gender or generation.
  9. Entrepreneurship

    Hillary Clinton Success Story: Net Worth, Education & Top Quotes

    Learn about Hillary Clinton's early life in Chicago, her years in Arkansas with her husband, and her time as first lady, senator and secretary of state.
  10. Economics

    What Makes Oil Prices Go Up Or Down

    A look at the top factors and reports that affect the price of oil.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has ...
  2. Emergency Banking Act Of 1933

    A bill passed during the administration of former U.S. President ...
  3. Gross Domestic Product - GDP

    The monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced ...
  4. The New Deal

    A series of domestic programs designed to help the United States ...
  5. Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

    A service of the U.S. Department of State that lets U.S. citizens ...
  6. Separation Of Powers

    An organizational structure in which responsibilities, authorities, ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. Where are the Social Security administration headquarters?

    The U.S. Social Security Administration, or SSA, is headquartered in Woodlawn, Maryland, a suburb just outside of Baltimore. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the Social Security administration responsible for?

    The main responsibility of the U.S. Social Security Administration, or SSA, is overseeing the country's Social Security program. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Is the Social Security administration a government corporation?

    The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) is a government agency, not a government corporation. President Franklin Roosevelt ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does the role of Medicare/Medicaid affect the drugs sector in the U.S.?

    Medicare and Medicaid have enormous influence on the pharmaceutical, or drugs, sector in the United States. For instance, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the ethical arguments against government subsidies to companies like Tesla?

    The ethical argument behind government subsidies is that they should be put into place to help industries that will, in turn, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What do I do if I think an accountant is in violation of the Generally Accepted Accounting ...

    The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) promulgates generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in the United ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!