Do gov't workers really earn more than those in the private sector?
In the U.S., perhaps now more than any other time, the rift between public and private sector is front and centre.
It’s not that Barack Obama, who will clash with Mitt Romney tonight in the last of their three presidential debates, is overtly pro-government, but it’s that Romney is so pro-business, which is to say he’s decidedly anti-government.
Yet for all the hand-wringing about high government wages critics say would never fly in the private sector, perhaps what we know about public-private pay gaps in the U.S. is all wrong.
And, more importantly, perception may be way off in Canada, too.
According to new data recently released, at a time when Romney all but lives his life under a monstrous “Slash Government, Damnit” banner, life ain’t so peachy in the American public sector.
*Bing: Who is Canada’s highest-paid government employee?
By numbers from the Federal Salary Council (FSC), the gap in pay between public and private sector workers is growing – just not in the way you might think.
As the U.S. economy continues to languish, it is actually private sector workers that earn plenty more than their public sector counterparts. On average, according to the FSC, government employees are paid 34 per cent less than those working for private companies, compared to 26 per cent less last year.
Relative to Canada, where private and public sector employees are compensated similarly on the whole, that’s a seismic gap.
Here at home, according to the Canadian Union of Public Employees, government workers are paid just a half per cent more than private sector employees, using salary data from the 2006 census. (Women earn more in the public sector vs. private, while men earn less in the public sector vs. private.)
Still, an undeniable sentiment exists across North America: while you’re not going to get a Jamie Dimon-like pay package working for the government, the public sector may at least be a safer bet to earn a working wage.
Where’s that notion come from? Perhaps, in fact, it has nothing to do with today’s paycheques, but tomorrow’s.
According to an analysis of B.C. public sector employee pay packages, the Canadian Taxpayers Foundation uncovered that nearly 90 per cent of the province’s government workers have pension plans in place. In the private sector, that number plunges to under 20 per cent.
So while lamenting public sector wages vs. those in the private sector may be inaccurate in the short-term, in the long-term there’s no unclear edge to cashing a government cheque.
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: Jim | Oct 22, 2021 9:40:06 PM
Perhaps if you were to do your calculations using the hours of obligated work per year and lifetime earnings (including pensions) you might see where the 'anti-public sector' brigade is getting it's ideas.
Just try saving up sick days in the private sector....
But this is really just obfuscation to benefit the Koch brothers and Mitt Romney etc. We should be asking why our wages have collapsed since the 1960's despite productivity exploding and why the free trade agreements only benefit the top 1% of the top 1%. Corporations dodging their taxes and pay obligations make almost everyone poorer (except those at the very top). Warren Buffet did very nicely out of the post 2007 crash, How well did you do?
Government employee's haven't done as badly as private sector employee's, but the race to the bottom is not yet done, we still live better than the people in Vietnam and Bangladesh and there's still that war with Iran that our other middle eastern 'friends' have been begging for.
Posted by: unhappy | Oct 23, 2021 9:25:55 AM
You have to take everything into consideration, not only wages. Benefits, pensions, bankable sick days, and more. It is not unheard of people having 1-2 years of bankable "sick days" before retiring. Not to mention the job stability. I would prefer a goverment job over a private job any day!!