A woman looks on at the Capitol dome.
Few are giving any sort of sympathy to Congress these days. But beneath the record-low approval ratings for elected officials are staffers who are feeling stretched and have seen benefits restructured, and almost four-out-of-10 of them say they will be actively looking for a new job in the next year, according to a study from the Congressional Management Foundation.
Asked, "How likely is it that you will, by choice, look for a job outside of your current office in the next 12 months?" 38 percent said they would be.
In 2011, that number was 30 percent. The group writes:
"Congress has made significant cuts to their own office budgets since 2011, with most offices experiencing a 20% reduction. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act required nearly all staff in Members’ personal offices to transition from the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program to the Washington, D.C., small business healthcare exchange."
How stretched do people feel? In 2011, 30 percent of managers agreed that they "have too much to do to do everything well." But that jumped in 2013 to a whopping 62 percent.
The survey was conducted Nov. 18 to Dec. 6 of last year, right when Hill staffers were starting to get briefed on how to enroll in new health-care plans. The results are based on 163 responses, which is 15 percent of potential respondents.