Public and Private Sector Compensation: A Brief Comparison

June 15, 2010

Public sector workers do valuable jobs that enrich our communities and warrant decent
compensation. This brief memo provides links to some recent research related to public sector compensation. The studies find that public employees are substantially more educated and experienced than private employees. Controlling for this, public sector workers have lower compensation than those in the private sector. It is true that wages are more equitable in the public sector: in fact, the lowest-paid private sector workers are paid so poorly that many rely on public benefits to make ends meet. Below is some of the analysis from which these conclusions are drawn.

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