Federal Agencies Spend Millions on Bonuses to Recruit and Retain Workers

Tuesday, 30 Aug 2011 12:00 PM

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Before the budget battle began, federal agencies spent more than $349 million on recruitment, relocation, and retention bonuses in 2009. The amount represented a 22 percent increase from the year before, a report from the Office of Personnel Management showed, according to The Washington Post.

The Defense Department and Veterans Affairs, the government's two largest departments, made the most incentive payments, with the Pentagon handing out 21,910 payments and the VA awarding 8,885. The State Department, however, had the highest average incentive payments at $12,586, the Post’s blog the Federal Eye reported.

The money generally goes to highly skilled workers who could be lured away to better-paying private sector jobs. Those federal employees include government accountants, lawyers, intelligence analysts, doctors, nurses and scientists, the Post reported.

However, the Post noted that “congressional Republicans, eager to cut spending, will surely use this new report as further proof of what they consider to be generous salaries, benefits, and bonuses to federal workers that the government can no longer afford.”

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