Federal Workers Are More Likely to Die Than Lose Their Jobs (and for Good Reason)

USA Today bemoans the fact that you're more likely to die than get fired from a federal job. An economist says this makes perfect sense.

A new USA Today report finds that if you work for the government, you're more likely to leave your job because of death from natural causes than you are to get fired. Same goes for layoffs, even in the recession. Private companies fire or lay people off at a rate of 3 percent annually; the government fired only 0.55 percent of its workers last budget year.

Besides getting some generic comments from federal representatives on how they try to "hire the right people," USA Today quotes one San Francisco State University management professor saying this is a bad, bad thing. The low departure rates show a failure to release poor performers and those with obsolete skills, he says. He adds that these statistics "would indicate a serious management problem."

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