Overpaid or Underpaid? Public Employee Compensation in the State of Alaska

Source: Mouhcine Guettabi and Matthew Berman, University of Alaska Anchorage, Institute of Social and Economic Research, ID: 1675, July 2016

From the summary:
Are state workers better paid than their counterparts in private industry? That question is likely to come up more often, as the state deals with a huge budget shortfall. The answer is generally no, but there are exceptions.

We analyzed the question in two ways, using different data sources for cash wages but the same assumptions about benefit levels. Using two sources helped us better answer the question, and each yielded the same broad conclusion: state workers are not on average paid more.

That’s true, whether we consider just wages, or total compensation—wages plus benefits. But there are significant differences in pay and total compensation of public and private workers in individual occupations. We did this research for the Alaska Department of Administration (see back page). Below we summarize our findings, and inside report more details…..