Sunday, July 28, 2013


WI Public sector workers earn nearly $12K more than private sector
Wisconsin Reporter – M. D. Kttle – 7/9/2013

Click the link above for the entire article – it compares the public workers vs private workers in surrounding states. 

With federal, state and local governments paying out almost $1.5 trillion in employee compensation in 2012, the pay scale isn’t a trivial fact, Biggs and Richwine wrote.

The U.S. Census’ Survey of Income and Program Participation found the average federal worker shifting to a private sector job accepts a small salary reduction, about 3 percent. On the other side, private sector workers who move into federal jobs on average received a 9 percent pay hike in their first year on the job, “well above the raise other workers get when they switch jobs within the private sector,” Biggs and Richwine noted.

While the BLS wage data includes bonuses, stock options and vacation pay, it doesn’t factor in a big eventual income source in the public sector: The employee pension. Defined benefit plans are the domain of the public sector, and they can mean a lot of income down the road for the public employee.

The Congressional Budget Office, in a wage comparison of private sector and federal employees in similar occupations and with similar experience, found:

  • Federal civilian workers with no more than a high school education earned about 21 percent more, on average, than similar workers in the private sector.

  • Workers whose highest level of education was a bachelor’s degree earned roughly the same hourly wages, on average, in both the federal government and the private sector.

  • Federal workers with a professional degree or doctorate earned about 23 percent less, on average, than their private-sector counterparts.

Factoring in employee benefits, the CBO found:

  • Average benefits for federal workers with no more than a high school diploma were 72 percent higher than for their private-sector counterparts.

  • Average benefits for federal workers whose education ended in a bachelor’s degree were 46 percent higher than for similar workers in the private sector.

  • Workers with a professional degree or doctorate received roughly the same level of average benefits in both sectors.
Marty Beil, executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 24, complained that the $90 million total raise for rank-and-file employees is a “token” raise.

“In dollar terms, the average Wisconsin state worker after Act 10 receives total compensation including benefits equal to $81,637 versus $67,068 for a similarly skilled private worker, a difference of $14,569,” according to AEI’s Biggs, the study’s author.

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