Despite the lure of higher paying jobs in a strong economy and some harsh criticism from President Donald Trump, the number of people applying to be FBI special agents is up sharply, surpassing the bureau's annual recruiting goal.
And the latest survey of FBI employees shows job satisfaction up over last year, a sign that morale is rebounding after the firing of James Comey as director.
With more than a month remaining in the current fiscal year, the FBI told NBC News it had received 32,000 applications, nearly three times more than the 11,500 it received all of the previous year. This year's figure was also well beyond the bureau's recruiting goal of 16,000 applicants — to be winnowed down to 900 special agents.
The numbers show that interest in joining the FBI has come roaring back after a decline in applications in the past three years. And among current employees, results from the FBI's annual "climate survey" show upticks in support for the FBI's leadership and mission this year compared to 2018.