Millennials actually like government work, and other myths about them

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With waves of retirement-age employees on their staffs heading for the exits, senior leaders in government are getting worried that the generation of millennials in line behind them are hard to attract and even harder to keep.

The officials seem to have good cause for concern: The share of the federal workforce under the age of 30 dropped to 7 percent this year, the lowest figure in nearly a decade, government figures show. Overall, about a third of the private-sector labor force was born between 1980 and 1995, but younger workers make up only a quarter of federal, state and local government employees.

For several years, government surveys and outside studies have concluded that the foundation of millennials at all levels of government is shrinking because young people don’t view public service as a permanent career the way older generations did.

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