Two Americas: Public vs. Private Sector
1. The number of federal employees exceeded 2.8 million for the first time in January 2009, and federal jobs have increased by 82,000 employees since December 2008.
2. Average federal salaries exceed average private-sector pay in more than eight out of 10 comparable occupations. From USA Today, a sampling of average annual salaries in 2008 are displayed below, the most recent data (click to enlarge):
3. Also from USA Today, the typical federal worker is paid $11,091 more per year (20% higher salary) than private-sector workers in the same occupation, based on median annual salaries.
Federal Employees: $66,591
Private-Sector Employees: $55,500
4. According to USA Today, average annual benefits (health, pension, etc.) in 2008 for federal employees was more than 4 times greater than benefits for private workers, a difference of almost $31,000 per year:
Federal employees: $40,875
Private sector worker: $9,882
• Federal. The federal pay premium cut across all job categories — white-collar, blue-collar, management, professional, technical and low-skill. In all, 180 jobs paid better average salaries in the federal government (83%); 36 paid better in the private sector (17%).
•Private. The private sector paid more on average in a select group of high-skill occupations, including lawyers, veterinarians and airline pilots. The government's 5,200 computer research scientists made an average of $95,190, about $10,000 less than the average in the corporate world.
•State and local. State government employees had an average salary of $47,231 in 2008, about 5% less than comparable jobs in the private sector. City and county workers earned an average of $43,589, about 2% more than private workers in similar jobs. State and local workers have higher total compensation than private workers when the value of benefits is included.
See related previous CD post on Two Americas.