Public Sector Pay vs Private Sector Pay
Would it be an awkward moment to mention this?
State and local government workers are enjoying major gains in compensation, pushing the value of their average wages and benefits far ahead of private workers, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data shows.
The gap is widening every year, rising by an average $1.02 an hour last year and $2.45 an hour over the past three years. The better pay and benefits for public employees come as private-sector workers face stagnant wages and rising unemployment.
State and local government workers now earn an average of $39.50 per hour in total compensation, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Private workers earn an average of $26.09 an hour.
But that’s way back in February, 2008, you point out. Very well, let’s fast forward to April, 2009. Unfortunately, the intervening year only exacerbated the situation. And residents of the state where the benny is king will not be overly surprised at the source of the widening differential.
The pay gap between government workers and lower-compensated private employees is growing as public employees enjoy sizable benefit growth even in a distressed economy, federal figures show.
Public employees earned benefits worth an average of $13.38 an hour in December 2008, the latest available data, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says. Private-sector workers got $7.98 an hour.
Overall, total compensation for state and local workers was $39.25 an hour — $11.90 more than in private business. In 2007, the gap in wages and benefits was $11.31.
The gap has been expanding because of the increasing value of public employee benefits. Last year, government benefits rose three times more than those in the private sector: up 69 cents an hour for civil servants, 23 cents for private workers.