It was not that long ago that among the concerns for leadership at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was low worker morale. The agency's efforts to improve conditions appear to be paying off.

The FDIC finished first among large federal agencies in the Partnership for Public Service's 2011 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government survey, with an employee satisfaction rating of 85.9 out of 100.

The score was an improvement of 8.5 points from the previous year, and allowed the FDIC to dethrone the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which had finished first the previous three years.

The overall rate of federal employees throughout the government satisfied with their jobs fell 1.5 percentage points, to 64%.

A Washington Post story about the survey said the FDIC was one of the "islands of relative happiness."

Also doing well was the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Although the OCC's employee satisfaction score declined 5 points, to 79.4, the OCC finished sixth among 240 subcomponent agencies in worker satisfaction. (The OCC is technically a subpart of the Treasury Department.)

Not all of the financial regulatory agencies scored well, however.

In the listing for small agencies, the Federal Housing Finance Agency earned a score of 51.6, placing 33rd in a group of 35 agencies.

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