Looking for a booming job market? Look no further than the website USAJobs.com, where the federal government lists all its job openings. There are thousands of positions, many with six-figure salaries, and no apparent sign of budget belt-tightening.
Here is a sampling of some of what's listed:
The Air Force is offering up to $115,000 a year for an audio-visual specialist.
The assistant secretary of Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior plans to hire a "new media specialist" to deal with Facebook and Twitter for $115,000 a year.
An Interior Department spokesman told us this is an urgently needed post to fill because a court order has kept the Bureau of Indian Affairs off the Internet for seven years.
The National Weather Service has a dozen openings for meteorologists, paying up to $136,000 a year.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is in the market for a speechwriter, offering a salary of $136,000 a year.
The Environmental Protection Agency will pay $155,000 a year for a new spokesman.
That's pretty good money. By comparison, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs made an annual salary of $171,000.
Indeed, there are many high-paying spokesman jobs listed, including one for the Department of Homeland Security that pays from $105,211 to $136, 711.
There are also more exotic jobs:
Earn up to $165,000 administering U.S. aid for the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Malawi, where the per capita income is $860 a year.
There are 11 openings for lower paying jobs at the military's posh Klipper golf course in Hawaii.
There is an opening for a fitness instructor on a U.S. Army base in Germany for $38,000. Among the perks: They'll help repay your college loans.
Overall, there are 22,000 job and no sign of an economic downturn. Indeed, since the recession started in 2007, the size of the non-military federal workforce has shot up by 250,000 workers, an increase of about 10 percent.
22,000 Government Positions Posted on USAJobs.com
Tom Gavin, a spokesman for President Obama's Office of Management and Budget, points out that the president has imposed a two-year pay freeze on federal workers; a move that the White House says will save $60 billion in 10 years.
And, Gavin said, the bulk of recent hiring has been in security-related agencies such as Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs. He pointed to this line in the president's budget: "Overall, security agency employment grew by 22 percent from 2001 to 2010. During the same period, employment in non-security agencies as a percent of population fell by 4 percent."
One thing that is not in dispute: These federal jobs come with nice benefits:
10 paid holidays
13 sick days
Up to 26 vacation days
Additionally, there is a liberal leave policy "that provides ample time off to take care of your personal, recreational and your health care needs."
If there is any belt tightening going on in Washington, it's not apparent here.