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2023 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® rankings reveal increase in employee engagement for the first time in four years

May 20, 2024

The annual analysis by the Partnership for Public Service and BCG offers insight on the federal employee experience in the Biden administration

WASHINGTON – The nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service and global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group today released the 2023 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® rankings and data, which reveal the first increase in federal employee engagement and satisfaction since 2020.

The 2023 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government engagement and satisfaction score is 65.7 out of 100, representing a 2.3-point increase from 2022 in how the nation’s civil servants view their agencies and jobs. This data includes responses from more than 1 million federal employees, the highest total in the history of the Best Places to Work rankings.

“The gains in federal employee engagement are promising and indicate that an intentional focus on the management of the workforce can make a difference,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. “A highly motivated, engaged and expert career federal workforce, a cornerstone of American democracy, is critical to a well-functioning government and the success of our country.”

The 2023 rankings include 532 federal agencies and agency subcomponents, the most in the history of the rankings. Of the 73 agencies included in this year’s rankings, 49 registered increases or held steady in their Best Places to Work scores compared with 2022. Among the 459 subcomponents, 303 improved or held steady. Both findings are substantial improvements from the past two years.

“Organizations that invest in their workforce reap the benefits of both engagement and productivity,” said Brooke Bollyky, leader of BCG’s Public Sector Practice in North America. “Our research shows that the future of work revolves around talent, particularly developing generative leaders and building a continuous learning culture.”

NASA maintained its top spot among large agencies for the 12th consecutive year, while the runner-up Department of Health and Human Services again increased its Best Places to Work score. In the midsize agency category, the Government Accountability Office remained at the top for the fourth year in a row, and among small agencies, the National Indian Gaming Commission, a first-time participant in the rankings, topped the list.

The Department of Homeland Security, Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Product Safety Commission and Defense Technical Information Center within the Department of Defense each are the most improved in their respective groupings.

While many agencies and subcomponents across government increased or sustained their Best Places to Work scores, several agencies saw their scores drop. The Social Security Administration remained in last place among 17 large agencies, falling 1.8 points for a score of 52.1. Both the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development saw declines in their scores for the second year in a row, landing near the bottom of the rankings among large and midsize agencies, respectively.

In the midsize agencies, the National Science Foundation dropped out of the top five after finishing second the previous two years. The Export-Import Bank remained in last place among 30 small agencies with a score of 40.6 points, a drop of 14.4 points, while the Federal Bureau of Prisons was at the bottom of the subcomponents list with a score of 38.1 points, an improvement of 2.6 points over 2022.

The Best Places to Work rankings provide critical information to help agencies, the Biden administration and Congress assess workplace health and performance. In addition to overall satisfaction and commitment, the rankings measure employee attitudes on eight workplace categories, including effective leadership, recognition, work-life balance, pay, and support for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.

The top five agencies in each of the four groupings, and the most improved agencies, will be honored at an event on May 20, 2024, at the National Press Club. The event will feature remarks by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Office of Personnel Management Acting Director Rob Shriver, and spokespeople from the Partnership for Public Service and Boston Consulting Group.

#1National Aeronautics and Space Administration                                             82.5 out of 100
#2Department of Health and Human Services                                                     75.2
#3Intelligence Community                                                                                  72.6
#4Department of Commerce                                                                                72.1
#5Department of Veterans Affairs                                                                       71.8
#1Government Accountability Office                                                                  87.2
#2General Services Administration                                                                     84.5
#3Securities and Exchange Commission                                                             82.9
#4Federal Energy Regulatory Commission                                                         82.6
#5Environmental Protection Agency                                                                   77.9
#1National Indian Gaming Commission                                                              93.6
#2National Endowment for the Humanities                                                         90.5
#3Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation                                                            88.1
#4U.S. Office of Special Counsel                                                                        86.2
#5Farm Credit Administration                                                                             83.5
#1Office of Negotiations and Restructuring (PBGC)                                         96.7
#2Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DOD)                                92.0
#3Office of the Chief Financial Officer (PBGC)                                                91.7
#4Office of Government-wide Policy (GSA)                                             90.3
#5Office of the Chief Financial Officer (NCUA)                                              90.0
LargeDepartment of Homeland Security 60.8 (up 5.9 points)
MidsizeFederal Trade Commission 75.4 (up 8.1 points)
SmallConsumer Product Safety Commission 73.0 (up 9.8 points)
SubcomponentDefense Technical Information Center (DOD) 66.1 (up 22.9 points)

Additional Key Findings

  • Those employees who teleworked full time registered the highest Best Places to Work score among federal employees (74.6 out of 100) followed by those who worked at headquarters (69.2) and those who worked in field offices (61.7).
  • On leadership, supervisors drew a rating of 80.2 out of 100, an increase of 0.5 points from 2022, while senior leaders rated considerably lower at 57.3, even though that score was 2 points higher than the prior year.
  • The government-wide diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility score saw a 1.6-point increase to 71.6.
  • In terms of overall employee engagement and satisfaction, Asian Americans had the highest score (72.2) followed by Black employees (70.0), white employees (66.2), Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders (64.6), and American Indian and Alaska Natives (61.4). Those who identified as two or more races scored 59.5.
  • On other work-related issues, employees posted a score of 73.3 out of 100 on the connection to their agency’s mission, 70.1 on work-life balance, 66.8 on professional development, 57.4 on pay, 56.3 on employee input and 53.9 on recognition.
  • Federal employees older than 60 years had the highest Best Places to Work score(73.4), while employees aged 30 to 39 had the lowest score (62.3) of any age group in 2023. The score for those younger than 30 was 64.2.
  • Employees gave their agencies a score of 47.7 out of 100 on the question of whether “the results of this survey will be used to make my agency a better place to work.” Although still low, this figure represents a 4.8-point increase from 2022 and suggests increased confidence that agency leaders will  respond to employee feedback.

The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings, produced by the Partnership for Public Service and BCG, offer the most comprehensive assessment of how federal public servants view their jobs and workplaces, providing employee perspectives on leadership, pay, work-life balance and other issues. The 2023 rankings include 532 federal agencies and their subcomponents: 17 large agencies, 26 midsize agencies, 30 small agencies and 459 subcomponents. This is the 19th edition of the rankings, which began in 2003.

Most of the data used to develop the Best Places to Work scores and rankings was collected by the Office of Personnel Management’s annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, which was administered during the summer of 2023 to eligible full–time and part–time, permanent, non–seasonal, non-political employees in the executive branch. The FEVS survey was completed by more than 625,000 federal workers. An additional 394,800 federal employees completed separate surveys within 12 other agencies, and their responses are included in our rankings.

A complete list of the rankings and accompanying data is available at

During the past 22 years, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service has been dedicated to building a better government and a stronger democracy. We work across administrations to help transform the way government works by providing agencies with the data insights they need to succeed, developing effective leaders, inspiring the next generation to public service, facilitating smooth presidential transitions and recognizing exceptional federal employees. Visit, follow us @PublicService and subscribe today to get the latest federal news, information on upcoming Partnership programs and events, and more.     

Boston Consulting Group

BCG is a global management consulting firm dedicated to advising clients in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. We partner with our clients to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their challenges, and transform their enterprises so that they achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations and secure lasting results. In our work with the federal government, BCG is recognized for bringing commercial insights and best practices to our public sector clients. To learn more, visit