5 High-Cost Government Jobs Still Open After Sequestration
Business + Economy

5 High-Cost Government Jobs Still Open After Sequestration

Eliminating just one average new federal government hire would save 52 current employees a 1-week furlough.
REUTERS/Phil Noble

Despite the dire warnings about how hard government workers and American taxpayers will be hit by sequestration, there were more than 600 new federal jobs posted on usajobs.com on March 4, 2013 – the first full business day after sequestration.

In a March 5 letter to acting director Jeffrey Zients of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), a well known waste hawk, noted that “while some of these positions may be essential … others plainly are not.

“In addition to these jobs posted after sequestration went into effect, there are many vacancies for federal jobs that are still available…. According to OMB, the average annual salary for a government employee is around $76,000. This means that the average new hire equates to a one-week furlough for 52 current government employees. If these non-essential positions are not filled, it would provide resources to avoid furloughs for some mission-critical positions.”

Among the openings Coburn lists:

• The USDA is hiring a librarian at an annual salary of $74,872 - $97,333.
• The Air Force is hiring a director of “history and museums policies and programs” at a salary of $143,600 - $165,300 per year.
• The Air Force also posted several full-time jobs for painters at a salary of $40,000 - $46,000.
• The FDA posted an opening for a “social media management service to streamline management of multiple social media platforms.” 
• The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is hiring a historian at a salary of $42,209 - $67,114 per year.

Coburn says, “While the Air Force may need leadership for its museums and history programs, and the USDA may need to keep its literature in order, those needs should take a back seat to the dire threat to public health and safety that some have claimed will result from sequestration.”

Similarly, “canceling the opening for the library position at USDA could offset one week of furloughs for as many as 104 to 156 food inspectors (based on an annual salary estimate of $31,000 to $50,000).”

Coburn had also written to Zients before sequestration kicked in, asking the Obama administration to immediately begin a hiring freeze, but his new March 5 letter details openings since the beginning of sequestration.

Read the full Coburn letter here.