Nothing left to cut! But plenty to expand. Following a freeze in federal wages for a couple of years, federal employees are back to making more money and getting better raises and benefits than most private employees. Dog bites man, I know, but the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) has crunched the numbers from the most recent report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis:
The latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) show that wages rose 2.9 percent in the federal government in 2014, on average, compared to 1.7 percent in the private sector.
When benefits such as pensions and health care are included, federal compensation increased 2.8 percent, on average, compared to 1.3 percent in the private sector.
Federal civilian workers had an average wage of $84,153 in 2014, compared to an average in the private sector of $56,350. The federal advantage in overall compensation (wages plus benefits) is even greater. Federal compensation averaged $119,934 in 2014, which was 78 percent higher than the private-sector average of $67,246.
Only three worker categories have higher average wages than civilian federal government employees: company management, utilities, and mining. Even the high-demand information technology and finance fields offer lower average wages.
Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies for the Cato Institute, provided the post for FEE. He has more details over at his Cato-sponsored site on downsizing the federal government. It includes graphs that will make you sigh in despair, like the one below:
(Hat tip to Scott Lincicome)