The federal government appears to be hiring for hundreds of jobs in the Washington, D.C. area and thousands more around the country, even as President Obama warns sequestration cuts will force agencies to furlough and lay off essential employees.

Administration officials warn sequestration would mean furloughing border patrol agents, air traffic controllers, food inspectors and other critical employees to deal with what they bill as drastic spending cuts.

But a quick search on usajobs.gov turns up a raft of open government positions ranging from cooks to mechanics to statisticians.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., sent a letter this morning to Jeffrey Zients, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, calling for a freeze on non-essential hires to protect essential jobs.

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