Saturday, November 05, 2011

The Federal Pay Gap

The Washington Post reports that federal "employees are underpaid by 26.3 percent when compared with similar non-federal jobs, a “pay gap” that increased by about 2 percentage points over the last year while federal salary rates were frozen."
If I was being paid 26.3 percent more than I was worth, I'd ummm, quit my job and get a 26.3 percent pay increase somewhere else.
Yet, it turns out that the "quit rate" for federal jobs is one-third of the aggregate private sector rate. (source:

Now, I don't believe that fed workers are lazy, shiftless shirkers sucking the government teat until they earn a cushy retirement. 

Heck, some of them are even my friends.

But none of them are going broke working for the feds, most of them gain a lot of satisfaction from their jobs, and there is categorically no way I can believe that they are taking a 25% pay cut just to "have a fed job". I don't believe they're getting paid "an overall federal compensation premium of approximately 61 percent", as the AEI paper claims, but don't believe for a moment that they are underpaid.

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