Thursday, April 29, 2010

Government Jobs Not So Cushy

When you hear the words “government job,” you probably think of big paychecks, or extreme job security. However, new studies have revealed that some state and local government workers actually earn less than their private sector counterparts.

As this article from CNN explains, government workers earn between 11% and 12% less than workers in private companies, according to a joint study from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence and National Institute on Retirement Security.

The report, which analyzed 20 years of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, also found that the pay gap has generally widened over the last two decades, as private compensation moved higher while earnings for state and local workers fell.

"The big divergence began to occur in the late 1990s," said John S. Heywood, a professor in the economics department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and co-author of the report. "It's an issue."

Researchers say the make-up of public workers could be a primary driver for the gap. According to the study, because state and local employees tend to be older, they're less likely to leave their positions, which could keep salaries stagnant.

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