FedSmith.com Users Say They Work Harder and Earn Less Than Private Sector Workers

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By on April 11, 2012 in Current Events with 0 Comments

Rasmussen released the results of a recent survey which indicated that a significant percentage of American adults believe that federal employees have it easier and earn more money than private sector workers.

The survey showed that 66% of the individuals surveyed believe private sector workers work harder than federal workers, and 56% said that they believe federal workers earn more money. Interestingly, 46% of the government employees surveyed said that they didn’t work as hard as private sector workers, however 54% said that they do not earn as much as private sector workers.

I was curious what FedSmith.com users had to say about this, so I put the same questions asked in the Rasmussen survey out to our users (the first 9 questions were taken verbatim from the Rasmussen site). I also asked a clarifying question of my own to establish each respondent’s relationship to the federal government (current employee, retired, etc).

Out of the roughly 3500 responses to the survey, the general trend in the responses indicated that of the mostly current federal employees who responded, most felt that they work harder than workers in the private sector but are paid less for doing so.

Responses showed an upbeat attitude towards the economy in the sense that most people said they felt unemployment would be lower than it is today a year from now.

And although the majority of respondents indicated that if the federal government hires more people that it helps the economy, a majority said that the government should not do anything to help if people can’t find work after an extended period of time, a seemingly contradictory position on the two questions about the government’s role in the labor market.

The full set of questions and responses are listed below. Thanks to all of our users who took the time to take the survey and share their opinions!

Do you know anyone who is out of work and looking for a job?
Yes 71.3%
No 28.7%
Do you know anyone who, out of frustration with the difficult job market, has given up looking for a job?
Yes 34%
No 66%
Is the job market better than it was a year ago, worse than it was a year ago or about the same?
Better 31.9%
Worse 17.3%
About the same 50.9%
A year from today will unemployment be higher than it is today, lower than it is today or about the same as it is today?
Higher than today 20.3%
Lower than today 40.9%
About the same as today 38.8%
If people can’t find work after an extended period of time, should the federal government hire them, pay for their retraining, extend their unemployment benefits indefinitely or do nothing at all?
Hire them 6.1%
Pay for retraining 32.6%
Extend unemployment benefits indefinitely 8.9%
Do nothing 52.5%
If the federal government hires more people, is that good for the economy, bad for the economy, or does it have no impact on the economy?
Good for economy 43.4%
Bad for economy 36.5%
Has no impact on economy 20.1%
Do government workers have more job security or less job security than workers in the private sector?
More job security than private sector 89.1%
Less job security than private sector 10.9%
Who works harder, government workers or workers in the private sector?
Government workers 66.2%
Private sector workers 33.8%
Does the average government worker earn more annually than the average private sector worker?
Yes, s/he earns more annually 17.5%
No, s/he earns less annually 82.5%
What is your relationship to the federal government?
Current federal employee 81.1%
Retired federal employee 12.4%
Government contractor 1.2%
Other/none of the above 5.3%

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About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.