Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Everything you thought you knew about federal workers’ pay is wrong

The Hill: “Have you ever heard a politician or pundit complain about “overpaid federal bureaucrats?” If you’ve been paying attention, I bet you have. It’s a claim repeated so often, it almost seems like common sense. But, if you accepted that “common sense,” I’m here to tell you that everything you thought you knew about federal pay is wrong. The truth is that multiple credible studies show federal employees are woefully underpaid relative to what they could earn in the private sector for similar work. According to the most recent pay surveys from the Labor Department, federal workers’ base pay is 52 percent less than similar private sector workers. Locality payments, which vary by location and are paid on top of base salaries, have helped to shrink the pay gap incrementally since they were introduced in the early 1990s. Yet even after factoring in these locality payments, federal employees still earn about 22.5% percent less today than employees outside the federal government doing similar jobs. To put that into perspective: For every dollar earned by a correctional officer at a state or local prison, that same officer would receive 77.5 cents working at the Federal Bureau of Prisons. And since that’s an average, there are many instances where the salary gap is even larger – especially in big cities where federal salaries are much lower compared to what employers in state and local governments and the private sector pay for the same jobs…”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.