Federal workers fret about jobs as sequestration looms
Lawyer Lynnette Rodgers faced a choice last year as she weighed job offers, one from the Social Security Administration and a second from the Cuyahoga County government in Ohio, where she lived.
The county job would keep her close to home, while moving to the Washington area would have her paying about twice as much for housing. But Rodgers took the federal job, she said, because she thought she could make a difference in the lives of more people.
Now, with the threat of sequestration hanging over the federal government, she is worried about whether she made the right choice.
During a two-year job search, Rodgers wiped out her savings to support herself. A layoff or unemployment could devastate her finances.
Her worries are shared by workers in many corners of the federal government, where concern is simmering over the automatic cuts that will be implemented by law in the event that Congress does not reach an agreement on how to eliminate $1.2 trillion from the deficit.
The “Sequestration Transparency Act,” signed Aug. 7 by the president, requires the administration to submit, within 30 days of enactment, a detailed report on the effect the action would have on the federal government, including reductions at the program, project and activity level.
Sequestration would require cuts of more than $100 billion next year, an amount that could translate to 10 percent of defense spending and 8 percent of non-defense discretionary spending.