Dissatisfaction at the Federal Trade Commission: An Empirical Analysis of Size and Source

George S. Ford, Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies

Recent press reports reveal that the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has experienced a dramatic decline in employee engagement and satisfaction under Chair Lina Kahn, attributed largely to Chair Kahn’s mis-management and politicization of the once highly-respected agency. The results from employee satisfaction surveys are troubling. Using the summary level satisfaction measures from a pair of surveys, the FTC fell from the highest-ranking federal agency in 2020 to the bottom quartile of agencies in 2021—the largest decline of all agencies in 2021, and nearly the largest decline in satisfaction across agencies in the past twelve years. The surveys reveal the reduction in satisfaction is driven by a lack of respect for senior leadership due to a perceived lack of honesty and integrity among the agency’s senior leadership. Small increases in satisfaction are observed for agency supervisors, suggesting supervisors are trying to shield FTC staff from the mismanagement by senior leadership.

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