published Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Big pay gap between federal government, private sector

Yet another study -- this one by the federal government itself -- now shows that compensation for federal workers is much higher than compensation for comparable private-sector workers.

The Congressional Budget Office undertook the study of federal pay and benefits and found a stark disparity between taxpayer-supported government jobs and jobs supported by free enterprise.

Looking at compensation from 2005 to 2010, the CBO found that "Overall, the federal government paid 16 percent more in total compensation than it would have if average compensation had been comparable with that in the private sector, after accounting for certain observable characteristics of workers."

That 16 percent "premium" -- funded by taxpayers -- comes to nearly $400 billion over 10 years, noted Andrew Biggs, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

The CBO study accounted for private-sector and federal workers' level of education and years of work experience, among other factors, so it made essentially an "apples-to-apples" comparison.

While the gap in wages alone was fairly small -- only about 2 percent -- the gap in benefits was huge: "On average, the benefits earned by federal civilian employees cost 48 percent more than the benefits earned by private-sector employees ...," according to the CBO.

Previous studies have found an even bigger gap between federal and private-sector compensation.

Washington has whole departments that are unconstitutional. The fact that many of the workers in those departments are overcompensated compared with their private-sector counterparts is doubly insulting to taxpayers.

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fairmon said...

Over compensated, under worked and inefficent should be no surpise to anyone that has ever dealt with or observed first hand a government entity. The unfortunate part is those under worked and over paid employees think workers in the private sector have work habits similar to theirs while they are convinced they are doing a good job. It is probably very difficult to learn what the unfunded future liability for benefits are projected to be.

February 19, 2012 at 11:51 a.m.
tipper said...

How many government jobs have you held?

February 19, 2012 at 12:15 p.m.

Here's something you're leaving out. As usual.

The only reason that is true is because the federal government pays the lower echelon workers better than comparable employees in the private sector.

Now I don't know about you, but I don't want the government hiring illegal immigrants as janitors in the CIA building. To be honest, I don't want Mcdonalds orWal-mart doing it either, but they do,and they offer lower pay because theycan.

But when you look at degrees and upper level employees, you see they are paid less. Maybe you shouldn't cherry-pick the data you use.

February 19, 2012 at 12:36 p.m.
joneses said...

I had a government job once and here is a synopsis of my day. Arrived at 7;30 AM, read the paper and drank coffee until about 8:00 AM. At 8:00 AM we suited up with safety boots and set up our work site are to perform our job. Started actually working at 9:30 AM. At 9:45 AM we were forced by the Union to walk to the break room for a 10 minute break. The 10 minute break lasted about 20 minutes so we walked back to our work station and resumed working at 10:30 AM. We stopped working at 11:20 AM to walk back to the break room to eat lunch as required by the Union contract. What was supposed to be a 30 minute lunch usually lasted about 45 minutes until about 12:15 PM. We resumed our work responsibilities at 12:30 PM. At 1:45 PM per Union rules we returned to the break room for our 10 minute break at 2:00 PM. This break lasted about 30 minutes and we returned to our duties 2;15 PM. At 3:00 PM we had to put all our tools up and clean the area where we worked that day. We returned to the break room at 3:30 PM and changed out of our safety boots and waited until 4:00 PM to go home for the day.

The amazing thing is the other govrnment emloyees complained all day about how bad they have it and how the government treats them like %$#@.

And Obama wants to grow government?

February 19, 2012 at 2:11 p.m.
01centare said...

@happywithnewbulbs said... Here's something you're leaving out. As usual. The only reason that is true is because the federal government pays the lower echelon workers better than comparable employees in the private sector.

So true, happy! Another thing they don't say about private sector employers is how easily they get rid of their workers who become ill, injured or close to retirement. Not to mention there's a lot of nepotism in the private sector. Where incompetent workers are promoted over better workers because they have personal ties to the employer or management.

The only reason these yahzees are trying to destroy the federal government is because that's where women and minorities have made teh most gains. It's the federal government jobs that gave rise to an emerging minority and single women middle class. That's why I scratch my head in wonderment when I see women and minorities beating the drums of smaller government. Do they realize just how much the private sector relies on federal government handhouts for support? The private sector employers are the greatest tit suckers of federal government handouts.

February 19, 2012 at 2:31 p.m.
joneses said...


Are you that stupid? No one is trying to destroy the federal goernment. We only expect it to do what it was designed to do. In the private sector, unless you are protected by a socialist union, you are held acountable and given raises based on your accomplishments. With a government job you get a raise based on how long you have been there with accomplishments meaning nothing. Like you said 01centare the government hires people basd on their race or gendor with qualifications not being considered. That is why the federal government is incompetant.

February 20, 2012 at 11:45 a.m.
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