I have nothing against government workers, but how much more should they earn than the citizens footing the bill?

For more information on average compensation costs within specified wage percentiles, see 

Amounts in chart are dollars spent per hour.


  1. Usually, “governments” are large employers, n’est-ce pas?

    So, compare them to other large establishments…

    From the same source.

    Table 6. Private industry workers by establishment size and industry group

    500 workers or more , total compensation $55.86

    And, if you think the “average” private worker is underpaid, it’s even worse for private workers in small (1-49) employees.


    1. Corporate executives would only be comparable to college football coaches since they are usually the highest paid public employees at the state level in most states (more than governors too). I also don’t believe that football coaches or most CEOs are worth what they get paid.


      1. Interesting facts about government workers, which I, for one, believe are beneficial, both to the workers and to the economy as a whole.

        1. While government workers arguably earn about the same total compensation as similar private workers, on average, a higher percentage of their compensation is in benefits… Lower salary, better pensions and healthcare.

        2. “On average”:
        A. Usually, public workers in the lowest echelons, requiring little education, earn more ‘total compensation’ than equivalent private sector workers. Due to higher pensions and retiree healthcare.

        B. Higher level public workers earn much lower salaries than equivalent private workers. Their pensions and benefits are higher than the private sector, but generally not higher enough to offset the lower pay.*

        C. Logically, and the data confirms, this leaves a middle sector which is ‘just right’; lower pay combined with higher benefits make them roughly equal to equivalent private sector workers. Ergo, ” average ” overall.

        Whether intentional or not, this is clearly a redistribution of income. The public sector is more egalitarian than the private.

        * ex., Kelly Anne Conway says she gave up millions to become a public servant at about $170,000 a year (plus benefits). We don’t know how much Ivanka gave up for about the same salary, with no known experience or qualifications.


  2. It seems that the left coast and northeastern states set the pace for highly compensated government workers. Down in Georgia and Tennessee that doesn’t appear to be the case.

    I guess residents in high paid areas don’t mind high taxes and supporting a privileged class.


    1. The left coast and northeastern states (and Chicago), all very high population density areas, also set the pace for very highly paid private sector workers. California is a good example, due to it’s size and diversity. Highly paid workers, public and private, are in the coastal cities. The Central Valley, inland, and Northern (more rural) areas, are paid much lower, and lower cost of living.


  3. In New Jersey, state employees get 12 Holidays plus often the Friday after Thanksgivings off with pay on top of their weeks of vacation. Retail workers are lucky if they are not forced to work the six major holidays (New Years, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas), all without a pension.


  4. Your information was very interesting; I had always thought that State and Federal workers were, for the most part, paid less than the private sector.



  5. It’s not uncommon where I live in Mass. for teachers to earn a salary over 100k plus a generous pension and retiree health (which few taxpayers receive). And they have vacation time private sector workers can only dream of. Yet we keep hearing at contract time that they don’t make what private sector employees make . (compared to who-a CEO?) And not only teachers but the vast majority of municipal workers in my town . They have very short commutes on top of it ! (driving Corvettes, Tesla’s , Suburbans) just to name a few . Very few will bother to return a phone call or email to residents who are very politely asking a simple, benign question. Needless to say our property taxes are very high.


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