US Economic Research Service Reviews | Glassdoor

US Economic Research Service Reviews

Updated November 26, 2017
10 reviews

Filter

Filter


3.7
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Mary Bohman
2 Ratings

Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

  1. "Internship Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Student Trainee in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Student Trainee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at US Economic Research Service as an intern

    Pros

    The work environment was wonderful. The co-workers were very friendly. They gave different training events and seminars for the interns and field trips. Also the pay was great.

    Cons

    No cons I loved my entire time there!!


  2. "Work and thriving at ERS"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Economist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Economist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at US Economic Research Service full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Positive and supportive work environment

    Cons

    confusing and slow promotion process

    Advice to Management

    Set clear track for promotion from GS12 to 13

  3. "Good place for a young researcher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at US Economic Research Service full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Almost exclusively research oriented. A fair amount of freedom as long as one stays within the agency objectives (and sometimes away from overly politically controversial topics...). A lot of management support, get to work closely with lots of great researchers. Lot's of options to progress within the federal government, or back into academia.

    Cons

    Typical bureaucratic BS that comes with government employment. Inconsistent messages from different management units.


  4. "Good Place to Start"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Economist
    Current Employee - Economist
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at US Economic Research Service full-time

    Pros

    I highly recommend ERS for a recent PhD graduate. Typically, you start at a GS-12 , while most agencies start PhD grads at GS-11. The schedule is extremely flexible, you can start your day anytime between 7 A.M. and 9:30 A.M. Also telework and alternative work schedules are common among the employees.

    Cons

    After the GS-13 promotion, you shouldn't plan on another promotion for another 5 years for GS-14. Many great researchers never get to GS-15.

    If you want policy relevant work, this is not for you. The review process for reports is so long, there is no way to be policy relevant.

    Advice to Management

    Please streamline the review process, so ERS can be policy relevant. During the blind review process, perhaps limit the number of reviewers to four (two from other USDA agencies, one academic, and one internal).


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Good opportunity to get research experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at US Economic Research Service as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    ERS has a very collegial research environment, with excellent opportunity to conduct independent research and publish. The hours are flexible, and there are plentiful support staff to help with administrative issues.

    Cons

    The office location is not great, though there are some food trucks and delis nearby, it does not compare to the former location in downtown. Many PhD researchers are in cubicles or window-less offices, which is hardly ideal.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "USDA ERS a mixed review."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data Analyst
    Former Employee - Data Analyst
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Relaxed environment, easy communication, and near downtown.

    Cons

    Slow IT, takes a while for paperwork to be pushed through, and not many people work hard here.

    Advice to Management

    Need a stricter work policy so people don't abuse breaks and actually do work when in the office.


  7. "Highly professional staff and work environment with excellent IT support."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I worked at US Economic Research Service full-time

    Pros

    Unique opportunity to work in one of the largest research organizations in the world with a line staff of primarily Ph.D level economists (200 +) specializing in agricultural and food economics. Good job security and retirement benefits. Very good annual and sick leave benefits. Good access to data for research and analysis. Ability to limit on site work to 2 days a week (4 ten hour days) with 2 days telecommuting.

    Cons

    Small cubicle environment for new hires (non-management) and lower level staff. Limited number of non-management positions at the grade 15 level.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Disorganized but pleasant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - IT Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - IT Intern in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at US Economic Research Service as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    People are very friendly, and I felt very welcomed as an intern. For interns they had various outings to learn more about US agriculture, as well as bond with other interns.

    Cons

    I wasn't given very much work to do, and the work I did do got lost. My supervisor was often too busy to have time to talk about my work.


  9. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Economist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Economist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at US Economic Research Service full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    100% of work in research. Great knowledgeable colleges. Excellent data access. Publish without stress of tenure. Telework 2 days a week

    Cons

    Salary of low for PhD economist.

    Advice to Management

    Promote young stuff, they will leave otherwise.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "I learned a lot about U.S. agricultural economic policy."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Agricultural Economist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Agricultural Economist in Washington, DC

    Pros

    There are a lot a resources for research support--money to support co-authors, money for conference travel, money to organize small conferences, and money to buy data. This is one of the world's largest concentration of PhDs with an interest in agricultural economics. There are opportunities to do policy-relevant research, and ERS has a reputation among agricultural policymakers and stakeholders for doing good empirical research. The work-life balance is good. It's possible (although becoming more difficult) to be promoted to the GS-15 level as a researcher without having to go into management.

    Cons

    The standards for what is good research are those of agricultural economics, which tend to be different from (some would say lower than) the standards in the rest of economics. In one sense this is good, because the bar for promotion should be lower. But some of the senior management (as opposed to branch chiefs) don't seem to be able to tell the difference between high quality research and low quality research, or at least they don't seem to reward it. There is a review process for promotion, but it's fairly opaque. Compensation is good for agricultural economics, but on the low side for economics. Some of the more experienced staff (of which there are many) are about 20 years behind the research frontier. Some of these same experienced staff have no respect for newer staff if the newer staff did not grow up on a farm, even though in many cases the newer staff have better econometric skills. In some cases the lack of respect is quite overt. Management seems to recognize this, but they don't seem to be able to do anything about it.