Agency Analysis

Agency Headlines


Agencies at the Top

For the eighth year in a row, NASA increased its Best Places to Work score and has retained its standing as the number one large federal agency. The space agency’s employee engagement score is 81.5 out of 100, a 0.3-point increase from 2018. The Department of Health and Human Services ranks second among large agencies, increasing its score for the fifth consecutive year to 71.4.

In the midsize category, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ranks first with a score of 82.8 and moved up from second place, though its score fell by 1.1 points. It is followed by the Federal Trade Commission at 82.4, which dropped 1.6 points, and the Government Accountability Office at 81.8.

The top-ranked small agency is the U.S. International Trade Commission at 85.8 followed by the Farm Credit Administration at 81.1 and the Peace Corps at 80.7.

For the fourth time since joining the rankings in 2015, the Office of the Inspector General at the Tennessee Valley Authority is the top ranked subcomponent with a score of 95.7, followed by the Office of the General Counsel at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with a score of 93.2.

Large AgenciesEngagement Score
National Aeronautics and Space Administration81.5
Department of Health and Human Services71.4
Intelligence Community69.9
Midsize AgenciesEngagement Score
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission82.8
Federal Trade Commission82.4
Government Accountability Office81.8
Small AgenciesEngagement Score
U.S. International Trade Commission85.8
Farm Credit Administration81.1
Peace Corps80.7

Agencies on the Rise

The most improved large agency is the Intelligence Community, which increased its score by 3.6 points to 69.9, followed by the Department of the Army, which raised its score by 1.3 points to 63.7.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the most improved midsize agency, rising 6.7 points to 58.4 and recouping a portion of last year’s 25.2-point loss. The bureau ranks 21st out of 25 midsize agencies. The National Credit Union Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency each registered a 2.8-point increase after declining in 2018.

The Selective Service System experienced the biggest improvement among small agencies with a 17.1-point increase, although it ranks 21st out of 28 in its category with a score of 61.3. The Office of Special Counsel registered a 9.9-point gain, for a score of 76.0 and a 7th place ranking. The most improved subcomponent is the Foreign Service Institute at the State Department with a 16.4-point increase and a score of 74.1.

Large AgenciesPoint Change
Intelligence Community+3.6
Department of the Army+1.3
Department of the Treasury+1.2
Midsize AgenciesPoint Change
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau+6.7
National Credit Union Administration+2.8
Environmental Protection Agency+2.8
Small AgenciesPoint Change
Selective Service System+17.1
Office of Special Counsel+9.9
Export-Import Bank of the United States+9.1

Agencies Falling Behind

While a number of agencies were successful in creating more robust and positive work environments, others faced great difficulties.

For the second year in a row, the Department of Agriculture experienced the biggest decrease in employee engagement among large agencies, dropping 2.5 points after a decline of 6.9 points in 2018. The USDA now ranks 16th out of 17 large agencies with a score of 56.5. The Social Security Administration dropped 2.1 points for a score of 59.8 and a 14th place ranking, while the Department of Transportation dropped 2.0 points for a score of 65.7 and a 5th place ranking.

In the midsize category, the National Labor Relations Board dropped 7.2 points for a score of 48.1 and a ranking of 24th out of 25 agencies. This is the second year in a row that the board’s score has fallen. Other midsize agencies with declining scores include the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, with a 4.3-point drop and a score of 59.2, and the Department of Education, which fell by 3.6 points this year for a score of 43.7 and a last place ranking.

In the small agency category, the Corporation for National and Community Service fell by 27.0 points for a score of 39.3 and placed last among 28 agencies. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service dropped by 13.4 points for a score of 73.8, while the Overseas Private Investment Corporation slipped by 11.8 points for a score of 61.8.

Merit System Accountability and Compliance at the Office of Personnel Management experienced the largest decline among subcomponents, falling by 33.9 points for a score of 38.1.

Large AgenciesPoint Change
Department of Agriculture-2.5
Social Security Administration-2.1
Department of Transportation-2.0
Midsize AgenciesPoint Change
National Labor Relations Board-7.2
Securities and Exchange Commission-4.7
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency-4.3
Small AgenciesPoint Change
Corporation for National and Community Service-27.0
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service-13.4
Overseas Private Investment Corporation-11.8