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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Agricultural Economist
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Economic Research Service
Job Announcement Number:  ERS-M14N-0028

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$52,146.00 to $116,901.00 / Per Year
Tuesday, August 5, 2014 to Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Full-Time - Permanent
3 vacancies - Washington DC, DC   View Map
Current permanent Federal employees with competitive status, reinstatement eligibles, persons with disabilities, VEOA eligibles, certain military spouses, 30% or more disabled veterans, former Peace Corps or VISTA volunteers, CTAP/ICTAP eligibles, Farm Service Agency permanent county employees and those eligible for other Special Hiring Authorities.
Not Applicable


This position is being concurrently announced under Delegated Examining Procedures on ERS-S14N-0027 open to any US Citizen. Current and former Federal employees may apply to both announcements, but should be sure to apply to this announcement to maximize opportunities for consideration since different referral criteria apply to each announcement type.

The Economic Research Service (ERS) conducts broad programs of economic and other social science research and analysis relating to agriculture, food, natural resources and rural America for use by public and private decision makers. ERS' clients are the executive and legislative branches; environmental, consumer and public interest groups, including farm and industry groups; and the general public.

The Agricultural Economist positions are located in 3 branches within the Market and Trade Economics Division (MTED): the Agricultural Policy Modeling Branch, the International Demand and Trade Branch and the Animal Products and Cost of Production Branch. The MTED research program includes development and dissemination of market information, analysis of domestic program and trade policy alternatives, commodity and trade forecasts and projections, and special studies of emerging developments in domestic and international markets.


  • Not Required


  • Yes
  • Relocation expenses may be paid.


  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
  • Suitable for Federal employment determined by a background investigation.
  • A 1-year probationary/trial period may be required


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The Market and Trade Economics Division seeks Agricultural Economists who can:

  • Plan and conduct economic analyses and investigations.
  • Develop and maintain databases and economic models.
  • Use software and statistical methods to conduct market analyses.
  • Develop questionnaire designs and manual preparations for surveys.
  • Prepare publications and other information resources.


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Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement including time-in-grade restrictions, specialized experience as identified by grade level.

Time in grade: Applicants must meet one year at the next lower grade to be considered for the next higher grade. (e.g. one year at the GS-11 grade level for consideration for the GS-12 grade level.)

Basic Requirements:
A. Degree: A bachelor’s (or higher) degree in economics that included at least 21 semester hours in economics and 3 semester hours in statistics, accounting, or calculus;OR
B. Combination of education and experience -- courses equivalent to a major in economics, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

In addition to the Basic Requirements listed above:
Applicants must have at least one year of specialized experience which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position.

For the GS-9, qualifying experience includes at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-07 collecting, compiling and arranging data from various sources; performing basic analysis of data; and preparing drafts of written reports; OR
A master's or equivalent graduate degree in agricultural economics or a related field; or completion of 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree.

For the GS-11, qualifying includes at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-09 studying and understanding factors affecting supply, demand, and trade in commodity or regional markets; participating in preparation or development of questionnaire content, survey procedures and data cell relationships; maintaining data sets; and participating in preparation of written products; OR
A Ph.D. or equivalent graduate degree in agricultural economics or a related field; or completion of 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree.

For the GS-12, qualifying experience includes at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 maintaining and assembling data, independently designing questionnaires; drafting analyses on relationships between supply, demand, trade, price and policy development; and leading teams or projects in the analysis and publication of related topics.

For the GS-13, qualifying experience includes at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12 leading or independently planning and conducting studies or analyses of economic problems; developing and maintaining databases and economic models; investigating and identifying factors affecting supply, demand, and trade in commodities or markets; authoring reports, articles, or other written products; and leading questionnaire design and manual preparation for surveys.

Combinations of education and specialized experience may be accepted for all grades where education or experience may be accepted.



You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education, experience, and training you described in your application package, as well as the responses to the Occupational Questionnaire to determine the degree to which you possess the knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies listed below:

  • (All Grades)
    • Knowledge of principles, methods, and theories of economics and skill in conducting economic analysis
    • Skill in communicating economic information
  • (GS-09/11)
    • Skill in data collection, organization and evaluation
  • (GS-12/13)
    • Knowledge of factors affecting supply, demand and trade
    • Skill in survey and questionnaire development, and data collection, organization and evaluation techniques
We will review your application, including the online Occupational Questionnaire, to ensure you meet the job requirements and assess your ability to perform this job. Before any certificate can be issued to the selecting official, the resume and supporting documents are reviewed by an HR Specialist to ensure that (a) minimum qualification requirements are met and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your answers will be verified against information provided in your online resume and application. Be sure that your resume clearly supports your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position.

Applicants who meet the basic minimum qualification requirements and are determined to be among the best qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for consideration. Non-Competitive candidates need to meet minimum qualification requirements to be referred.

Note: If, after reviewing your resume and / or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score can / will be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Deliberate attempts to falsify information may be grounds for not selecting you.

To view the application form, visit:


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The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package.  Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at:


  • Veteran’s who are preference eligible or who has been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after three years or more of continuous active service are eligible for consideration under the Veteran’s Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA). See: (if applicable - when open beyond USDA (i.e. government-wide)).
  • Special Hiring Authorities Information: Individuals under the Veteran’s Recruitment Act (VRA) or 30 percent disabled veterans, may be considered under special hiring authorities. Click here for more information.
  • Special Hiring Options: Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): For information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible see To be well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, surplus or displaced Federal employee must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
  • Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Employees: Permanent County employees without prior Federal tenure who are selected for a Civil Service position under Public Law 105-277 will be given a career-conditional appointment and must serve a 1-year probationary period.


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Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.
The following instructions outline our application process.

  • You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. 
  • We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
  • This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact us if you are requesting this.

Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not have one) at It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.

Step 2: Create a resume with USAJOBS or upload a resume into your USAJOBS account. Customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. Your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).

Step 3: Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required.
You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application” to continue.
NOTE: Verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Once in the Agency's staffing system you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded documents must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).

A complete Application Package must be submitted and received prior to 11:59, ET, on the closing date. The following documents are required for your application package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, your system failure or downtime, etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.


Resume that includes the following information: 1) personal information; 2) education; 3) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 4) supervisors phone number and e-mail address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 5) other qualifications.
College Transcripts if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or used as a substitute for specialized experience. An unofficial copy is sufficient however, if selected; an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university. Foreign education must be evaluated by an approved organization. For additional information, refer to the U.S. Department of Education web site at All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation. Other required documents as applicable: •Current/Former Career/Career-Conditional: Most recent non-award Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50 or equivalent) showing that you are/were in the competitive service, highest grade (or promotion potential) held on a permanent basis, federal status, position title, series and grade AND most recently completed performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) showing the official rating of record, signed by the supervisor, or a statement as to why the performance appraisal is unavailable. Do not submit a performance plan. Failure to do so will remove you from further consideration. Additionally, if you are requesting consideration for non-competitive eligibility, but do not yet hold the full performance level of this position, you must submit an SF-50 that documents your full performance level.
Veteran Hiring Authorities: (VEOA, VRA, and 30% Disabled Veterans): DD-214 (Member 4 Copy). Disabled veterans must include your VA letter & SF-15 if claiming 10 pt. preference. Current active duty members must submit a certification that they are expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted.
Schedule A, Persons with Disabilities: Schedule A letter from a physician, local, state or federal rehabilitation office citing eligibility under 5 CFR 213.3102 (u).
Certain Military Spouses under E.O. 13473: Verification of the marriage to the service member (i.e., a marriage license or other legal documentation verifying marriage), plus Permanent Change of Station: PCS orders issued within the last 2 years, that: lists you as authorized to accompany the military member to the new duty permanent station; the specific location; and the effective date of the PCS OR Military disability of 100%: verification of the members release or discharge due to 100% disability (DD-214 and VA Letter) OR Death while serving on active duty: 1) Verification of release or discharge due to death (DD-214). 2) Verification of the member’s death (DD-1300 and Death Certificate. 3) Statement certifying they are un-remarried widow or widower of the service member.
Foreign Service: Most recent Foreign Service Notification of Personnel Action, showing that you were/are serving under an unlimited, career-type appointment AND have completed at least 1 year of continuous service without a break of a workday under one or more nontemporary Foreign Service appointments. •CTAP/ICTAP: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, Notice of Proposed Removal, or appropriate OPM/Agency certification; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position from which you will be separated.
Peace Corps/VISTA Volunteers: Documentation of no less than 24 months (Peace Corps) or 1 year (VISTA) of continuous service and separated within 1 year of completing the qualifying service.
Peace Corps Staff: Documentation of no less than 36 months of continuous service without a break in service of 3 days or more and separated within the 3 years of completing the qualifying service.
Certain Family Members under E.O. 12721: Most recent non-award SF-50 and performance appraisal.
Interchange Agreement with Other Merit Systems: Documentation of eligibility as listed in interchange agreement.
Miscellaneous Authorities Not Regulated by the Office of Personnel Management: (Postal Career Service Employees, Postal Service Commission Employees, GAO, US Courts, etc.), Current Notification of Personnel Action (or equivalent) that reflects your eligibility.
Other Special Hiring Authorities: If you are claiming eligibility under a Special Hiring Authority, you must submit supporting documents.


Katrina Edmonds
Phone: (301)504-1334
Fax: (000)000-0000
TDD: 202-855-1234
Agency Information:
5601 Sunnyside Ave
Beltsville, MD,
United States
Fax: (000)000-0000


If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful,  2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and  3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Normally, a final job offer to the selected candidate is made within 30-60 days after the issuance of the certificate.

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