With the barrage of orchestrated extremist attacks on public employees, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reminds us today of a study it commissioned last year that disproves one of the biggest lies by anti-workers-that public employee make excessive pay. In short, public employees are paid less than private-sector workers, even when factoring in employer-provided benefits.
The paper by Rutgers University professor Jeffrey Keefe found:
Private-sector workers earned average annual wages of $55,132, $6,061 greater than the $49,072 earned by public-sector workers. When looking at total compensation including employer-provided benefits, this gap narrowed but the private-sector workers still earned $2,001 more per year than public sector workers ($71,109 in total compensation, versus $69,108). This gap was especially large among more educated workers. College-educated workers on averages earned $22,966 less in total compensation.
Keefe's 2010 paper, Debunking the Myth of the Overcompensated Public Employee, is highly relevant today as public workers are increasingly blamed for the budget shortfalls of so many state and local governments. A recent series of New York Times stories have focused on this trend, noting that more and more political leaders are demanding concessions from their public workforces, and attempting to pass legislation that would weaken the labor unions that represent much of the public workforce.
Read the full report here.
HT: AFL-CIO Blog