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Few military spouses find federal work despite new hiring authority

Jul. 12, 2010 - 06:00AM   |  
By STEPHEN LOSEY   |   Comments
Only 61 employees were hired in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 under a new accelerated hiring authority targeted to assist military spouses.
Only 61 employees were hired in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 under a new accelerated hiring authority targeted to assist military spouses. (Navy)

The federal government has been slow to adopt a new accelerated hiring authority targeted to military spouses in the authority's first three months.

According to statistics released by the Office of Personnel Management, federal agencies hired 61 military spouses in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 58 of those were hired by the Defense Department. OPM said data on the second quarter of fiscal 2010 will be available in a few weeks.

In addition to DoD, the Interior Department hired two clerks, and the Veterans Affairs Department hired one clerk. No other agencies used the hiring authority between October and December.

Most of the hires became clerks. Others took positions in human resources, accounting, program management, and medical support.

The new authority allows agencies to hire certain military spouses without putting them through the normal competitive hiring process. The hiring authority can be used for: spouses who relocate with service members because of permanent change-of-station orders; unremarried widows or widowers of service members killed on active duty; and spouses of service members who are 100 percent disabled as a result of active duty.

The authority is not a hiring preference for eligible spouses, nor does it entitle spouses to federal jobs. It allows, but does not require, federal managers to use the noncompetitive process.

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