Federal Worker Pay Outpaces Private Sector

The productive sector of the economy is having to shoulder quite the burden when it comes to paying the salaries for their “public sector” cohorts, who USA Today finds are excessively compensated:

Federal employees earn higher average salaries than private-sector workers in more than eight out of 10 occupations, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data finds.

…Overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist both in government and the private sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available.

…These salary figures do not include the value of health, pension and other benefits, which averaged $40,785 per federal employee in 2008 vs. $9,882 per private worker, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Federal workers earn considerably more pay for performing the same job as those in the private sector.:  Unless they are equally more productive, the difference is pure waste.:  Keep in mind that it’s the private sector workers who pay the salary of their public sector counterparts.

Similar studies at the state and local level, such as this one by Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute, have found the same results.

The job on USA Today’s list with the biggest pay gap is that of public relations manager, where government employees earn over $44k more than equivalent private sector workers.:  In this case it might actually be deserved, as making big government look good is an impossible task.

Cross-posted at Conservative Compendium.

Brian Garst

Brian Garst is the Director of Government Affairs for the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, a non-profit think tank dedicated to preserving tax competition and free markets. He also blogs at BrianGarst.com.

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