In the U.S. federal government workforce, there are twice as many workers over age 60 as there are under 30 (Partnership for Public Service, 2019). People under 34 represent 16% of the federal employees and 25% of the public workforce, while they represent 34% of the private sector (Deloitte, 2015). This is a major operational crisis for the public sector as Baby Boomers retire, but also suggests a broader challenge in recruiting and retaining diverse talent to government.
Finding new ways to bring diverse talent into the public sector is an ongoing challenge for agencies across all levels of government. The People Lab is collaborating with Govern for America (GFA) to better understand how to recruit and support the next generation of public sector leaders. We’re currently running a field experiment to test what messages encourage college graduates to apply for government jobs, and studying how exposure to government work impacts future beliefs about government.