Government affects Americans in countless ways. In fact, virtually every occupation can be found within government. There are, however, some activities that are unique to government. The federal government defends us from foreign aggression; represents American interests abroad; deliberates, passes and enforces laws; and administers many different programs. State and local governments pass laws or ordinances and provide vital services to constituents. There are many opportunities in government in every career area. The Government and Public Administration Career Cluster focuses on those careers that are unique to government and not contained in another Career Cluster.
Because of its public nature, the factors that influence federal government staffing levels are unique. The Congress and President determine the government's payroll budget. Each Presidential Administration and Congress have different public policy priorities, which increase levels of federal employment in some programs and decrease federal employment in others. State and local government employment is projected to increase approximately 12 percent during the next decade. Employment growth will stem from a rising demand for services at the state and local levels. An increasing population, along with state and local assumption of responsibility for some services previously provided by the federal government, is fueling the growth of these services.