Public Employees Make 44% More Than Private Sector Counterparts




According to a new study released by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average public sector employee earns $40.40 per hour while their private sector counterpart earns only $28.13.  Not unexpectedly, a huge chunk of that pay differential comes in the form of public sector benefits (including huge pension costs).  The typical public sector employee makes $26.41 per hour while receiving $13.99 per hour in benefits (making total compensation $40.40).  On the private side, wages average $19.81 while benefits are $8.32 (for a total hourly compensation rate of $28.13).  This study was conducted and vetted fully by public employees.

Here are the numbers, which resonate in today’s unemployment climate. The amount employers pay for retirement, paid leave and insurance are dramatically higher for public vs. private sector workers.


  • Average costs in private industry for retirement benefits were $1.03 per hour worked.
  • Average costs for public workers for retirement benefits were $3.32 per hour worked.

Insurance costs:

  • Average costs in private industry:  $2.27 per hour worked.
  • Average costs for public workers: $4.83 per hour worked.

Paid leave:

  • Average costs in private industry:  $1.90 per hour worked.
  • Average costs for public workers: $3.03 per hour worked.

Public Unions, a completely counterproductive and anti free market force negotiating “against” elected officials with no personal stake in the negotiations have done a good job of bloating public employee benefits.  When confronted with the above numbers labor union reps — who negotiated these fine pay packages for their members — contend that jealous private sector workers shouldn’t try to take their benefits away, but should instead try to force private industry to pay better.  Good luck with that, folks.  When you are negotiating with an employer that has to stay in business it is a whole different matter with checks and balances as opposed to the perceived endless fount of the public trough.

About Geoff Willis