Nonexistent federal salary gap

This morning, Jason Richwine and I write in the Washington Post on the Federal Salary Council’s claim that federal government jobs on average pay 35% less than similar private sector positions. We run through a number of problems with this conclusion—one of which is that it’s simply implausible on its face that the government could retain employees while paying only 65 cents on the dollar—but the main one is that the Council’s analysis ignores differences in qualifications between government and private sector workers. There’s evidence that, even in the same job, private sector workers have more education and experience than federal employees. Once you control for that difference, the large federal “salary gap” essentially disappears. 

2 thoughts on “Nonexistent federal salary gap

  1. It is not true that two people saying “my job involves working on a computer all day” means that your work has comparable value. One of you may be entering data; the other writing code.

  2. I am a Federal Employee and really am tired of the bashing. My retirement is 1% per year with a maximum of 37% of my base pay. I pay .8% into my retirement per pay period. In January I will have to pay an additional 1.5% into the FERs system, but yet I will not even see it. This increase will continue each year until an additional 5% is taken and put into a system that is not for the Federal Civilian Employees, but to pay for the benefits of the Military and free education for minorities. Also, health insurance is another issue. I pay 35% of my salary each pay period for my health insurance. What else is bad if I want vision or dental, I have to go out and find two additional insurance companies and pay for that also. I wish people would do a little more research before running off of the mouths. Most Federal Employees do not make a lot of money. In fact, I bring home 45% of my pay and with the current economy the way it is, I am supporting three families. I have to pay for my son’s student loans at $300 a month, because he can’t find work.
    Before writing anything, do more research, we all do not make big fat checks and work pay day to pay day.

    Thank you

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