As the job news grows ever darker--the Labor Department announced Friday that unemployment had hit a 26-year high of 9.7%--a ray of light is shining from an unexpected quarter: the federal government. By the fall of 2012, the federal government will hire 273,000 new workers, according to a report released last week by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, a group in Washington that promotes government employment--and those are all jobs the group calls "mission critical," meaning they are considered crucial and therefore certain to be filled. That's a 41% increase from the three previous fiscal years. Here are the fields that will hire the most workers; the specific jobs mentioned can all be found at the government's official jobs Web site, www.usajobs.gov.
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