CBO study: Federal workers earn 16% more than private sector workers

The average federal employee earns 2 percent more money than their private-sector counterparts and 16 percent more in total compensation, which includes health and pension benefits, according to a study released today by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

However, not all federal workers are out-earning private sector workers in similar jobs, the CBO found, according to Government Executive magazine. Employees with a professional degree or doctorate earned 23 percent less in wages and about the same benefits as their private sector counterparts.

Federal workers who were college graduates brought in roughly the same salary but 46 percent more in benefits than their private sector equivalents, Government Executive reported.

The least-educated federal workers got the biggest boost by choosing to work for the federal government, the CBO said, according to the Associated Press. Federal workers with a high school diploma or less earned 21 percent higher wages and 72 percent more in benefits than their peers, or 36 percent more in total compensation.

According to the AP:

The CBO study comes as House GOP leader have scheduled a vote this week to extend the current federal worker pay freeze for an additional year and have been pressing to make federal employees contribute more for their pensions.

"An enormous amount of time and energy is going into studies purporting to show that federal workers are overpaid," National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley Kelley said in a statement, according to Government Executive. "It is just a foolish drive for the lowest common denominators, and is missing the big picture – which is what are we going to do to put people back to work and accelerate the economic recovery?"

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