Skip to navigationSkip to content

The most miserable places to work in the US government

Jeh Johnson Homeland Security
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
  • Adam Epstein
By Adam Epstein

Entertainment reporter

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Life ain’t all that grand if you work at the US Department of Homeland Security. Go figure.

The annual survey by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service asked employees at nearly 400 different US government agencies how satisfied they were with their jobs. The Partnership for Public Service then used their responses to calculate a score for every agency. Here are the 10 worst large (15,000+ permanent employees) government agencies to work for in 2014:

Homeland Security ranked last in leadership, support for diversity, and innovation, while coming in second to last in pay (ahead of Veterans Affairs) and in work-life balance (ahead of the Department of the Interior).

Job satisfaction across the entire US government dropped for a fourth straight year to its lowest score since the rankings began in 2003. The Partnership for Public Service attributes the steady drop in satisfaction to pay freeze, sequestration, and the 2013 government shutdown.

Here are the bottom 10 mid-size agencies (between 1,000 and 15,000 permanent employees):

NASA employees, on the other hand, continue to love their jobs. NASA topped the overall rankings for the third year in a row, placing first in both leadership and teamwork and second in work-life balance and pay behind the Intelligence Community. NASA also ranked as the best agency to work at for women, people under 40, African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and employees with disabilities.

Here are the top five:

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.