The Truth About Federal Pay

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Are federal employees over or underpaid? The author says that reports on both sides of the argument are generally inaccurate.

Feds Are Overpaid… Or Not

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Are federal employees paid more than their private sector counterparts? It’s a debate that has been raging for years with no clear answers. The author discusses the latest twist in the salary debate: a report from the Cato Institute which says federal workers are paid far more generously than private sector workers. He says that while the report is mostly inaccurate, there is more to the story.

Federal Pay Gap With Private Sector Growing

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (an organization within the Department of Commerce), the average federal employee now makes $79,197, not including benefits. And, when benefits are added in, the average federal employee compensation averaged $119,982 based on 2008 figures.

Average (Total) Federal Compensation in 2007: $116,450

It seems no one is happy with the federal pay system. Many employees and federal unions argue that federal employees are significantly underpaid. But not everyone agrees. The average federal employee in 2007 received a pay and benefits package of $116,450–more than twice as much as the average private sector employee.