New CBO Report Says Federal Workers Earn Much More Than Private

The Congressional Budget Office released a report on January 30th estimating that federal workers make 16% more on average than private workers. Benefits, which are included in the 16% figure, are 48% higher or about $20 per hour higher. The overall average was $52 an hour for each federal employee. If only lower and middle level workers are included in the analysis, federal workers do even better in the comparison to private workers. The federal government employs 2.3mm civilian workers (not part of defense spending) at a total cost of $120 billion.

Most of the recent criticism of government salaries and benefits has been at the state and local level, where public unions trade political support for wage gains. But the CBO figures indicate that pay scales are high at the federal level too.

A few decades ago, it was taken for granted that government jobs were considerably lower paid but more secure from layoffs. The first part at least is no longer the case.