Comparing Workers in State and Local Governments Versus the Private Sector
It's not as if state and local workers are doing worse than private-sector workers - they're actually doing better.
Compensation - wages and benefits, especially pensions - was higher for state and local government workers in 2009,according to the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis. Average compensation for private sector workers was $61,000, of which 18% was benefits. State and local government workers on average earned $70,000, of which 24% was benefits.
The mix of occupations in the private sector and the government is different, making direct wage comparisons complex. But it cannot be denied that state and local government workers' pay has risen faster than that in the private firms - by 19% since 2000, compared with 9% for private sector workers.
These higher levels of compensation don't even include the biggest benefit of government service-job security. It's hard to get fired. Yes, some government workers have lost jobs, but nowhere near as many as the private sector. Between 2000 and 2009, private sector employment declined by three percent, whereas state and local government employment grew by nine percent. . . .