December 13, 2009
The graph below, from Cato @ Liberty, illustrates how three measures of government size have changed over time. While government production has remained relatively stable as a share of the economy, total government spending has swelled. The growing gap between these two lines, according to Chris Edwards, mainly represents the massive growth in transfer (or subsidy) programs, such as Social Security.”
Click here to read Chris Edwards’ analysis.
October 12, 2009
Using data from the National Compensation Survey, Zubin Jelveh matched 588 common jobs in the private and public sectors. “This chart looks at how the pay differential between the two sectors changes as we move up the pay scale in the private sector:”
The above chart shows that government employees enjoy higher compensation at lower-paying jobs, though the reverse is true at higher-paying ones.
Overall, there is a 20% difference in pay between government and private sector employees. Government employees earn an average of $49,479 while private sector workers earn an average of $40,996.
Zubin Jelveh poses the following question:
Does this mean that we should cut the pay of the average public employee by 20%? (A back-of-the-envelope calculation puts the cost savings from this at $94 billion.)
I don’t think so. One reason: By choosing to work in the public sector, a person pretty much gives up the option of having a high or very high salary, so the pay differential may compensate for that. Are there other reasons?
September 1, 2009
From the Economist:
Chris Edwards, the author of “Downsizing the Federal Government”, points out that the average compensation (pay plus benefits) of a federal worker is now nearly $120,000 a year, twice what private-sector workers make.
And that’s in addition to cast-iron job security. A federal employee has only a 1 in 5,000 chance of being fired in any given year.
Just a thought, as the deficit explodes: can we afford such generosity?
Click here to read my previous post on the ascent of Federal pay.
August 27, 2009
The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released its annual data on compensation levels by industry. The data show an expanding pay advantage for federal civilian workers over private-sector workers.
Figure 1 shows at average wages. In 2008, the average wage for 1.9 million federal civilian workers was $79,197, compared to an average $49,935 for the nation’s 108 million private sector workers.
Figure 2 shows that the federal advantage is even larger when worker benefits are included. In 2008, federal worker compensation averaged $119,982,smore than double the private sector average of $59,909.