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.
According to one organization, federal employee pay and benefits are creating “[A]n elite Island of secure and highly-paid workers separated from the ocean of average Americans competing in the global economy.” Here are the author’s reasons for this conclusion and what it might mean for federal workers.
According to one researcher who has concluded that the Federal Salary Council claims of an underpaid federal workforce are unwarranted, average federal pay continues to outpace private sector pay.
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.
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.