Federal employees less satisfied under Biden: report
Nearly every federal agency reported less satisfaction working under President Biden in his first year of office than under former President Trump’s last year in office, according to a new survey published Wednesday.
The annual Best Places to Work in the Federal Government survey from the Partnership for Public Service shows federal employees were largely more dissatisfied in 2021 than in 2020 despite Biden promising positive changes to the bureaucracy.
NASA, which has the highest satisfaction rating, ranks as the best place to work in the federal government but still fell from an approval rating of 86.6 percent in 2020 to 85.1 percent in 2021.
The Department of Justice fell by nearly double digits, with 67.2 percent of employees reporting they were satisfied in 2020 and around 59 percent saying the same last year.
The survey comes after Biden assumed office last year with the intent to bring normalcy back to the federal government after four years under his predecessor.
Biden has had a rough time winning over the nation while in office after struggling with several crises. His latest job approval rating among all Americans still sits below 40 percent.
The Partnership for Public Service’s data is taken from the Office of Personnel Management through its Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, which was conducted in November and December among more than 292,000 federal employees with a total response rate of roughly 34 percent.
The survey was taken amid a surge of the COVID-19 omicron variant across the U.S., which saw cases and hospitalizations skyrocket over the winter months. Biden took a more scientific approach as the head of the government’s large bureaucracy, mandating masks for federal employees and encouraging vaccinations.
Although satisfaction ratings dropped, most federal employees are still satisfied with their agencies overall, with almost every agency reporting a higher than 50 percent approval rating.
The most notable drop in satisfaction rating among large agencies came from the Social Security Administration, which fell from 64.5 percent in 2020 to 59.9 percent last year.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday the Social Security Administration is struggling with a senior leader overseeing around 9,000 employees and who is reportedly causing “significant anomalies.”
Other agencies at the bottom of the ranking list include the Department of Homeland Security, which saw satisfaction approval fall from 61.1 percent in 2020 to 56.6 percent in 2021.
Among mid-size agencies, the Federal Trade Commission saw its satisfaction rating drop from 89 percent in 2020 to 64.9 percent last year.