WSJ: Gov’t Could Save $100M if Employees Worked Harder

Wednesday, 05 Dec 2012 11:46 AM

By Newsmax Wires

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Research by two think tank analysts shows that private-sector employees work harder than their counterparts in government.

“Overstaffing is a serious problem in government, and the best evidence is a simple empirical fact: government employees don't work as much as private employees,” the analysts write in The Wall Street Journal.

Andrew Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and Jason Richwine, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, collaborated on the article.

“If public-sector employees just worked as many hours as their private counterparts, governments at all levels could save more than $100 billion in annual labor costs,” they say.

Their research shows that private-sector employees work about 41.4 hours during a typical workweek. That compares to 38.7 hours for federal government workers and 38.1 hours for state and local government employees.

Thus during a full year, private-sector employees work the equivalent of 3.8 more 40-hour weeks than federal employees and 4.7 more than state and local government workers.

So what does the data mean? “Our own take is simple: before we ask private-sector employees to work more to support government, government itself should work as much as the private sector,” Biggs and Richwine write.

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