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Uncle Sam Hires More, Pays More Than Private Employers

By Michael Carr   |   Thursday, 17 Sep 2009 11:12 AM

Good enough for government work? Apparently, the feds are the best employers by far.

The economy has shed 5.9 million jobs over the past 12 months. This has led to an unemployment level that is likely to reach double digits and stay stubbornly high over the next couple of years.

One area that is seemingly immune to the economic downturn, however, is government. More than 600,000 jobs have been created, all of the growth occurring at the federal level.

That’s a 3 percent increase at a time when revenue from tax receipts is down sharply at all levels of government.

This is consistent with long-term trends. Over the past decade, the New York Times reported, the economy has been able to grow jobs at annual rate of only 0.1 percent.

Yet the federal government has seen employment increase by an average of 1.2 percent a year over that time.

Data shows that government isn’t cutting back on compensation to fund the hiring, either. The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released its annual report on compensation levels by industry. Federal workers are at the top of the list.

Shockingly, federal pay is more than double the average in the private sector. In 2008, the average wage for the nearly 2 million government workers was $79,197, compared to an average of $49,935 for the 108 million private sector workers. The large difference stands even when adjusted for education levels.

Benefits haven’t been cut back either. Total compensation for the federal workers averaged $119,982 per worker, more than double the private sector average of $59,909.

So, instead of scouring the want ads for that elusive job, it might be time to look at www.usajobs.gov, the governments consolidated Web site.

Currently, it lists more than 32,000 vacancies.

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Good enough for government work? Apparently, the feds are the best employers by far.The economy has shed 5.9 million jobs over the past 12 months. This has led to an unemployment level that is likely to reach double digits and stay stubbornly high over the next couple of...
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2009-12-17
 

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