Study Compares Public-, Private-Sector Compensation over 20 Years

Article excerpt

Employees of state and local government earn an average of 11 percent and 12 percent less, respectively, than comparable private-sector employees. According to a report commissioned by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence and the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS), the pay gap between public- and private-sector employees has widened in recent years.

The report, titled "Out of Balance? Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation Over 20 Years," analyzes data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The findings include the following:

* Jobs in the public sector typically require more education than private-sector positions, and state and local employees are twice as likely as private-sector employees to hold an undergraduate degree. About 23 percent of private-sector employees have completed four years of college, as compared to 48 percent of those in the public sector.

* Wages and salaries of state and local employees are lower than those of private-sector employees who have comparable earnings determinants such as education and work experience. …