The Federal Government
A report by USA Today found that workers in many federal agencies are more likely to die than lose their job. The federal government job security rate was 99.43 percent in 2010, meaning only about half of 1 percent of the federal workforce was fired or laid off. In the private sector, an average of 3 percent of workers are fired for poor performance each year, and that doesn't include layoffs [source: Cauchon].
Another study found that federal workers were 4.2 percent less likely to lose their job in a non-recession year compared to private-sector workers, and even less likely to lose the same job during a recession [source: Kopelman and Rosen].
State and local government job security is an entirely different story. During the Great Recession consumers cut spending which affected state and local tax revenue. Faced with budget crises, many states enacted steep budget cuts. Even as the economy slowly recovered in the first half of 2010, state and local governments cut 95,000 jobs while the private sector added nearly 600,000 [source: Leonard]. By late 2013, however, local and state jobs appeared to be bouncing back, especially in the education sector. In 2019, HR professionals in state and local government said hiring had increased modestly but layoffs were down 42 percent from 2009 [source: Center for State and Local Government Excellence].