September 27, 2013
Analysis: Trust in Federal Workers Hits New Low
GovExec reports: American confidence in federal employees has hit a new low, according to a nationwide poll of 800 registered voters released today by The George Washington University. More than one-third of survey respondents -- 35 percent -- voiced “little or no confidence” in federal workers, up sharply from 23 percent in 2011. Only 19 percent of voters said they have “a lot of confidence” in federal workers, while 41 percent indicated “some confidence” and 5 percent were unsure.
Eroding respect for federal service is not a trivial matter. Essential compliance with laws and regulations is built on trust in the fair, responsible implementation of those laws and regulations. Since 2009, phone surveys about American attitudes toward federal workers have been conducted for GW during the third quarter of each year by the Tarrance Group.
Despite this lack of trust, Americans still believe the federal government is a desirable career path. About three-quarters of registered voters, or 73 percent, still say they would encourage a young person to consider a federal job. Fewer than one in five, or 19 percent, would discourage a career in civil service.