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The best and worst places to work in the federal government

Federal government employees sounded off on their workplaces in an annual survey by the Partnership for Public Service, giving insight to what are the best — and worst — places to work in the sprawling federal bureaucracy.

The survey ranked 17 large, 27 mid-sized and 30 small agencies in the federal government, basing the ratings off of three prompts

  • I recommend my organization as a good place to work
  • Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your job?
  • Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your organization?

It also ranked the departments on 12 different workplace issues, like pay, diversity and leadership.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was ranked as the best overall large agency, those with over 15,000 employees, marking its second year running in the top spot.

Coming in last for the large agencies was the Social Security Administration, which had the lowest overall rating of all agencies in the survey, regardless of size. The agency also ranked last for large agencies in innovation, work-life balance and diversity. 

NASA came in first for leadership, pay, teamwork, innovation and diversity. It was followed by the Department of Health and Human Services and the intelligence community as the second and third best large agencies to work at.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice followed the Social Security Administration as the second and third worst agencies in the rankings.

The highest-rated mid-size agency was the Government Accountability Office and the worst was the Courts and Offender Supervision Agency.

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The top small agency was the Congressional Budget Office, with the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. at the bottom.

The lowest-rated agency across all sizes for pay was the Federal Trade Commission. The best was the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

The survey was completed by 557,778 federal employees over June and July 2022. 

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