Government agencies offering higher pay, sign-on bonuses, paid family leave

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Government agencies offering higher pay, sign-on bonuses, paid family leave

Some government agencies are pulling out the stops to attract applicants for some sectors such as tech, but they are pulling out the stops to attract job prospects in some sectors.

Thousands of government jobs are available, according to FRED Economic Data and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Many are offering a higher pay, sign-on bonuses, and paid family leave, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The US Customs and Border Protection is offering payment of up to $20,000 for border patrol officers in certain locations, per the New York Times. New firefighters in Polk County, Florida, are being offered up to $10,000, WFTS Tampa Bay reported, while the Alameda Police Department in California's Bay Area has offered new hires a $75,000 bonus, KPIX reported. In April it had 24 vacancies for police officers.

Some of these bonuses seem to be working. Oklahoma is expected to pay out teachers bonuses between $15,000 and $50,000 to about 530 recently recruited teachers, according to NPR affiliate KOSU. However, whether such payments will help retain workers over the long term remains to be seen.

Although signed bonuses are more of a short-term incentive, some workers may seek longer-term incentives like livable wages, a company culture, and a better work-life balance.

Some government employers are taking note of paid family leave to maintain balance, and government employees seem to be taking note. America is one of the few developed nations to lack federally mandated paid parenting leave.

For example, government workers in Arizona have been allowed 12 weeks of paid leave since January. The initiative was one initiative brought in by Democrat Katie Hobbs, who has been sworn in as governor of Arizona the same month, to extend paid sick and family leave for government workers.

In addition, such changes could combat the perception that government jobs pay less than private sector jobs. Some teachers, police officers, and firefighters have spoken out about feeling underpaid, along with poor conditions, which have led to some to quit.

Government employees, however, may be catching up. Government jobs listed on ZipRecruiter have been paid 20 percent more than they did last year, the Journal reported.