Skip to comments.Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation Over 20 Years (government workers underpaid)
Posted on 06/01/2010 9:01:21 AM PDT by gunsequalfreedom
Out of Balance? Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation Over 20 Years Analysis May Shed Light on Government Hiring Difficulties, Despite Economic Conditions
This new report, commissioned by the Center and the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS), provides an original analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Key findings include:
Jobs in the public sector typically require more education than private sector positions. State and local employees are twice as likely to hold a college degree or higher as compared to private sector employees. Only 23 percent of private sector employees have completed college, as compared to about 48 percent in the public sector.
Wages and salaries of state and local employees are lower than those for private sector employees with comparable earnings determinants, such as education and work experience. State workers typically earn 11 percent less and local workers 12 percent less.
During the last 15 years, the pay gap has grown: earnings for state and local workers have generally declined relative to comparable private sector employees.
The pattern of declining relative earnings remains true in most of the large states examined in the study, although there does exist some state level variation.
Benefits make up a slightly larger share of compensation for the state and local sector. But even after accounting for the value of retirement, healthcare, and other benefits, state and local employees earn less than private sector counterparts. On average, total compensation is 6.8 percent lower for state employees and 7.4 percent lower for local employees than for comparable private sector employees.
The picture is clear. In an apples-to-apples comparison, state and local government employees receive less compensation than their private sector counterparts, said Keith A. Bender, report co-author and associate professor, Department of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. These public sector employees earn less than they would earn if they took their skills to the private sector.
Government jobs require education and skills
Jobs in state and local governments consist disproportionately of occupations that demand more education and skills," added report co-author John S. Heywood, distinguished professor, Department of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "Indeed, accounting for these differences is critical in understanding compensation patterns.
What state is this?
Is there really a state that is having a hard time hiring workers???
Now that right there is funny!.
Gee, I thought the idea of serving or working in government was to better America and it’s people; not to enrich ones self by cheating, lying and stealing the taxpayers money.
having a degree doesn’t always mean the same thing.
some people have degrees in nuclear engineering... others in liberal arts. one can produce energy for the entire country... the other can talk about their feelings.
of course useless degrees gravitate towards government... it’s the next best thing to academia. you cannot get fired and there are no real deadlines so long as you have a valid excuse.
i remember in the 80s having to deal with some civilian phd type @ the pentagon. he was supposedly high up in SDI... but as i was describing the system to him, he couldn’t get passed colors and the mouse (this was the 80s... graphical apps were a bit new). i’d swear he was on some kind of drugs.
over the years i have interviewed between 1,000-2,000 tech types (many more resumes... these are the ones that passed the initial screening).... and i can tell you, a phd is no guarantee of technical knowledge. and yes, i expect them to demonstrate a small set of code segments or come up with a design on the spot. if you cannot do something that simple, why would i want you on the team? and yes... most of the times, the phds failed the basic questions.
We need some research into
...the Center for State and Government Excellence
...and National Institute on Retirement Security.
The organizations behind this survey and the story.
This lying, scumbag organization is aligned with the SEIU and the AFL-CIO.
Complete horse manure.
In the private sector you have to produce to keep your job its not guaranteed for life. In Government jobs its how much time you can goof off and still get paid,how much can you steal,where are the good places to hide. what training is involved in holding up a shovel anyway?
Government Employees don't need a union to protect themselve from their employers, the American People
Like how to change the channel to get to their 'stories'. I interviewed at a government agency years ago, and by the time I walked past all the slackers watching soaps in their cubes to get to the interview room, I already didn't want the job.
Gee, I wonder what report co-author John S. Heywood, distinguished professor, thinks about human impact on global warming.
The education requirements for public employees is vastly inflated. Higher education requirement are a screening crutch for bureaucratic hiring practices that often result in hiring people not suited to the work. Higher education requirements are also used to justify higher salaries, often far in excess of what the private sector pays for similar work.
I believe that much of the growth in diploma mills and commercial college level providers (e.g. Univ of Phoenix) is driven by the public sector where a Masters degree from Fred and Sally’s Handy Dandy Grad School counts the same as a Masters from Harvard. With the first you get an idiot with a degree. With the second you get a genius with a degree and no clue. Take your pick.
“In Government jobs its how much time you can goof off and still get paid”
This was my experience, having worked in State Gov’t twice in a 20-year span. I quit the first time because, as a 22 yr-old I couldn’t take the boredom of sitting in a trailer playing cards on rainy days. The second time was better as a Field Tax auditor but the politics got to be too much and I just moved on to greener pastures.
Is the conclusion then that the basis for the comparison - educational levels - is inflated on the public employee side? Not sure I posed that question exactly clearly.
If every, single word of this is true, it doesn’t change the fact that we can’t afford it.
“Higher education requirements are also used to justify higher salaries, often far in excess of what the private sector pays for similar work.”
This makes sense. I was trying to reconcile the results of this study with another study posted elsewhere on FR where they made side-by-side comparisons of compensation for different job categories (e.g., secretaries, computer programmers). In all those comparisons the public sector workers earned more, often by double-digit percentages. This latter approach seems like a far more appropriate method of determining who is overpaid.
Another way of viewing this study’s results is to say that public workers are underemployed. That is, a typical public employee with a Masters is working at a job that a typical person with a Bachelor’s degree could handle. Hence, when you compare average compensation of public employees with Masters to their counterparts in the private sector (without taking into account the actual jobs they hold), they understandably are paid less. But that doesn’t negate the fact that for whatever job they are doing in the public sector, they likely are getting paid MORE than they would have in the private sector.
I guess you’d have to be a public sector worker to regard this situation as unfair to one’s self instead of counting your blessings. This would explain why a higher percentage of public sector workers are in unions compared to those in the private sector. Unions fuel and feed upon making workers feel like victims.
I would like to know why NONE of these analysis ever include the dollar value of rock solid public employee job security when they consider total compensation.
In other words, what’s it worth for virtually guaranteed life time employment with little or no chance of EVER being fired? 10% of salary??? 20% of salary????
And another aspect of this has crossed my mind....since job security is a benefit of and compensation for public employment, why can’t public employees be taxed for that extra income????
Excerpt: "For decades, public sector unions have peddled the fantasy that government employees were paid less than their counterparts in the private sector. In fact, the pay disparity is the other way around. Government workers, especially at the federal level, make salaries that are scandalously higher than those paid to private sector workers."
Not to disagree with your sentiments, but I think at this point in time there is at least some indication public employees will be hit with lost jobs.
I was wondering why if the jobs require so much education there are so many state and local government workers who seem to lack the brains to pour water out of a boot if the directions were on the heel. Some of them seem to have the IQ of an average fencepost.