“We need to manage our workforce in Defense the way thoughtful companies do today,” Carter said. “We’re not a company, we’ll never be. We’re a profession of arms; it’s different. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn.”
But with the A&D industry expected to hire almost 40,000 employees this year at an average salary nearing six digits — almost twice the national average — the government faces a harder sell to top talent.
The Deloitte study found the potential increase in jobs is fueled by growing national security threats, global tensions, recapitalization requirements and a rising DoD budget.
“Prime defense contractors in the U.S. are expected to be the key beneficiaries from the increase in Defense budgets, thereby contributing to the expected rise in employment in the overall A&D sector in 2016,” the study stated.
From 2010 to 2015, the Defense subsector saw a steady decline in jobs. In 2014, the Defense subsector lost 2.3 percent of its employee base and lost an additional 1.3 percent in 2015.
Those losses were mostly due to the sequestration caps placed on DoD. During the five-year period, DoD either had to work with a sequester budget or a budget that was hampered by a budget deal.
Defense budget spending dropped from $691 billion in 2010 to $560 billion in 2015. The fiscal 2016 budget gives DoD a hike up to $585 billion and the 2017 budget is expected, at a minimum, to be $582.7 billion.
That extra money means more spending on programs and more work for private industry.