Business

Thousands Of Government Employees Will Soon Be Out Of Work. What Will They Do Next?

As the government transitions to a new administration in January, we expect that thousands of government employees will be looking for a new job. Some former employees may take a job in the new administration, but many will be moving on to the private sector.

Revelio Labs

11/17/20

As the government transitions to a new administration in January, thousands of government employees will be looking for a new job. Some former employees may take a job in the new administration, but many will be moving on to the private sector.

By tracking the careers of employees who have worked in the Bush and Obama administrations, we can see where they worked next:

plot

It’s interesting to note that many from the Bush administration have continued to work in the federal government or have taken roles in large financial institutions, whereas employees from the Obama administration have moved more to tech companies.

In 2009, financial services were being heavily regulated and in 2017, much more emphasis has been placed on regulating large tech companies - which could explain a demand for employees with policy experience.

It’s worth noting that there is a large salary premium from moving to the private sector. We actually see that this salary boost has been growing rapidly:

plot

Perhaps this could be due to a growing demand for employees with experience in the federal government. Or perhaps it could be due to economic growth that has affected the private sector more than the public sector.

Takeaways:

  • It is clear that fewer people left government work when the presidency transitioned from Bush to Obama than the large number that left when the presidency transitioned from Obama to Trump.
  • Government employees from the Bush administration went frequently to banks, while government employees from the Obama administration went more to tech. This could be due to tech being a more dominant industry in 2017 than 2009. It could also be due to finance being heavily regulated in 2009, while tech is more regulated today.
  • Compensation in the private sector is growing faster than in the public sector, coinciding with bigger premiums for government workers entering the private sector.

If you have any ideas of other metrics to track or would like to hear more, please feel free to reach out.

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