CBO's study compares federal civilian employees and private-sector employees with certain similar observable characteristics (described below). Even among workers with similar observable characteristics, however, employees of the federal government and the private sector may differ in other attributes, such as motivation or effort, that are not easy to measure but that can matter a great deal for individuals' compensation. This analysis focuses on wages, benefits, and total compensation between 2005 and 2010....Differences in total compensation—the sum of wages and benefits—between federal and private-sector employees also varied according to workers' education level.
- Federal civilian employees with no more than a high school education averaged 36 percent higher total compensation than similar private-sector employees.
- Federal workers whose education culminated in a bachelor's degree averaged 15 percent higher total compensation than their private-sector counterparts.
Overall, the federal government paid 16 percent more in total compensation than it would have if average compensation had been comparable with that in the private sector, after accounting for certain observable characteristics of workers.
- Federal employees with a professional degree or doctorate received 18 percent lower total compensation than their private-sector counterparts, on average.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Public and Private Compensation
The pay and benefits of public employees have been much in the news lately. The Congressional Budget Office provides some data on federal workers: