State Budget Deficits Are Not an Employee Compensation Problem

Source: David Madland, Nick Bunker, Center for American Progress, Issue Brief, March 2011

From the summary:
Several previous studies find that public-sector employees make less than workers in comparable positions in the private sector. Public employees do have better health care and pensions–often needed to attract qualified employees to state government jobs such as police and firefighting. Even still, public-sector wages are significantly lower than those in the private sector, so total employee compensation is lower than in the private sector.

In addition, according to our analysis of state government expenditures, total state employee compensation, including wages and benefits, has not increased as a share of total state budget expenditures over the past 20 years. In fact, it has slightly decreased (see chart).

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