Public sector workers are very highly compensated relative to their private sector counterparts, according to the latest figures from BLS, and this issue promises to be a major focus not only of the November elections but for all the state and local governments that are facing sharply deteriorating finances. Mark Perry has done such a great job in bringing this issue to people's attention that he deserves special recognition, and one way to do that is to recreate his chart and help spread the message here. As he notes,
Government employees are compensated 44% more on average per hour than private-sector employees, with 34.1% higher monetary wages and 66.4% more in benefits. On an annual basis, government workers make almost $80,000 on average with benefits (assuming a 40-hour week for 50 weeks), $24,000 more per year than the average private-sector worker ($55,460 annual compensation).
One of the biggest differences between private and public employees is the "retirement" portion of benefits. Government workers are paid $3.16 in retirement benefits for each hour worked, and almost 90% of these retirement benefits are in the form of "defined benefits" and the other 10% are for "defined contribution." In contrast, private sector employees receive only $0.96 in retirement benefits for each hour worked, and more than 57% of this coverage is for "defined contribution" and less than 43% for "defined benefits."
The fact that retirement benefits for public workers are more than three times as generous as those paid to private sector workers, and the fact that almost all pension programs for government workers are "defined benefits," helps explains why the fastest growing group of millionaires is..... government workers.
I would add that public sector employees earn on average $4.52 per hour in the form of health insurance benefits, which is over twice as much as the $2.08 that private sector employees make. Plus, public sector employees earn on average $3.00 per hour in the form of paid leave (vacation, holiday, sick and personal), 60% more than private sector employees get.
Combine these amazing statistics with the traditional job security enjoyed by public sector workers, and you wonder how much longer taxpayers are going to put up with this.