Are Government Workers Underpaid?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a new report showing state and local government workers earn far more than their private sector counterparts. The Wall Street Journal has a short article summarizing this trend.

Mark Perry of the blog Carpe Diem offers some good data analysis (see the chart to the right, from Mark’s original post). Indeed, while the average public sector worker earns 34% higher salary, employer-provided benefits are far higher in the public sector – 66% more for the average state and local government worker than for the average private sector employee.

As noted in a recent CF Policy Points on public and private sector pay, Pennsylvania state and local government workers typically earn more in wages in every region and for all types of work.

Further, government employment seems almost recession proof.

As Matt Brouillette’s latest commentary notes, Pennsylvania state government added 5,000 jobs while the private sector shed 280,000 over the past 30 months. Additionally, Pennsylvania public schools added 33,000 jobs (teachers, administrators, and support staff) during a time in which enrollment declined by 27,000.

A new video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity highlights this conflict between government employees and the private sector taxpayers who pay their wages.