Cuts to government agencies and a two-year freeze on salaries finally seem to be taking a toll on federal workers.
An annual survey by the Partnership for Public Service shows 64 percent of federal workers are satisfied with their jobs, down one-and-a-half percent from last year.
That's the first drop in four years.
The Best Places to Work Rankings rates employee satisfaction and commitment in the federal government.
Pay is one of the issues of fed worker concern - only 59 percent are satisfied with their salaries, according to the survey, down six percent.
Leadership is also a concern, with just 5 cabinet secretaries earning approval scores above 50 percent.
The survey said the best large agency to work for was the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, perennially ranked near the top. The second most popular agency was the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, followed by the Government Accountability Office.
In the small agencies category, the Surface Transportation Board was far and away the most popular, getting a satisfaction score of 91.1 out of 100.
Although work with the federal government is often thought of as more secure than in the private sector, the survey says that does not translate into worker satisfaction. "Employees in the private sector continued to be more satisfied with their jobs, organizations and supervisors than their counterparts in the federal government," the report says.