Friday, December 11, 2009

Recession-Proof Jobs!

It seems I am in the wrong industry. I work for a small private company that builds components (mostly gaskets) for the aerospace industry and our military.

I may have to consider my choice of workplace, however, if a recent USA Today story is any indication of where the lucrative work is to be found.

From the article:

Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession's first 18 months — and that's before overtime pay and bonuses are counted.

Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time — in pay and hiring — during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector.

The highest-paid federal employees are doing best of all on salary increases. Defense Department civilian employees earning $150,000 or more increased from 1,868 in December 2007 to 10,100 in June 2009, the most recent figure available.

When the recession started, the Transportation Department had only one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000.

The trend to six-figure salaries is occurring throughout the federal government, in agencies big and small, high-tech and low-tech. The primary cause: substantial pay raises and new salary rules.

[...] Key reasons for the boom in six-figure salaries:

•Pay hikes. Then-president Bush recommended — and Congress approved — across-the-board raises of 3% in January 2008 and 3.9% in January 2009. President Obama has recommended 2% pay raises in January 2010, the smallest since 1975. Most federal workers also get longevity pay hikes — called steps — that average 1.5% per year.

New pay system. Congress created a new National Security Personnel System for the Defense Department to reward merit, in addition to the across-the-board increases. The merit raises, which started in January 2008, were larger than expected and rewarded high-ranking employees. In October, Congress voted to end the new pay scale by 2012.

•Pay caps eased. Many top civil servants are prohibited from making more than an agency's leader. But if Congress lifts the boss' salary, others get raises, too. When the Federal Aviation Administration chief's salary rose, nearly 1,700 employees' had their salaries lifted above $170,000, too.

While this article clearly attempts to pin blame on Bush and make Obama appear to be the hero (see first key reason listed) there is no doubt Bush's recommendations were based on current economic conditions at the time. If Obama were to have used the same type of logic, he would have put a freeze on any raises.

In my opinion the most interesting point of fact is that the current recession began at the end of 2007, which indicates that the Democratically controlled Congress had the most impact on the decisions that were made leading to these results.

You can read the full USA Today article here.


Woodsterman (Odie) said...

WOW, I'm in the wrong business.

The_Kid said...

Imagine the money pelosi spends on her face and still looks like That.


Soloman said...

Odie - even the idea that federal jobs make $100K / year (about 3x what I make), plus all those paid days off and the other benefits we all know they get (including massive pension) just grates at me...

I'm seriously going to watch for a government job to open up. I don't have to be a liberal to earn their kind of money...

Soloman said...

Kid - that botox bill must be something, for sure..

The_Kid said...

Soloman. yea.

PS - do these people look like Winners ? NO, they look like Effing Losers !

And they are.

Are we becoming a country of Losers ?