Saturday, July 31, 2010

Government Funding & Employee Pay

Part of the reason government is having such difficulty paying for the public services taxpayers expect to result from their taxes—like providing public safety and maintenance for the Parkway—is that public employees are receiving an inordinate share of the tax revenue, as this story from the Orange County Register notes.

An excerpt.

“Employees of state and local governments are more likely to have employer-provided pensions, health insurance, life insurance and paid sick leave than their counterparts in private industry, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. And their median wage is 40% higher.

“The data in the report released Tuesday are from the National Compensation Survey in March 2010. Wages and benefits for federal government employees are not included.

“Government officials have argued that they need to give better benefits to attract and keep good employees because the pay is less. But as the chart above shows, the median government pay is $22.04 an hour vs $15.70 in the private sector. The highest paid government workers earn $44.48 an hour vs. $37.02 in private industry.

“The most common public employee benefit is retirement benefit, or pension, which 90% of state and local governments nationally and 92% in the Pacific Region give their workers.

“But in the private sector, paid vacation is most common, with 77% of employers nationally and 76% in the Pacific Region giving it.”