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Policy Matters Ohio

Are Ohio Public Employees Over-Compensated?

February 10, 2011

Are Ohio Public Employees Over-Compensated?

February 10, 2011

Rutgers University professor Jeffrey H. Keefe conducted a comprehensive analysis of public and private sector compensation in Ohio. He found that, controlling for education, experience and other factors, state and local public sector employees in Ohio are paid several percentage points less than their private sector counterparts. This comparison includes all forms of compensation - wages, benefits, and retirement contributions. Education is the most important factor in earnings, and public-sector workers are, on average, much more highly educated than private sector employees: 49% of full-time public sector workers have at least a bachelors' degree, compared to 26% of private sector workers in Ohio. This paper was released nationally by the Economic Policy Institute on the day after a bill to eliminate collective bargaining for state employees was introduced in Ohio. Professor Keefe's research makes clear that public sector workers are not overcompensated. To create an Ohio economy that works better for all, Ohio must retain a strong public sector and work to improve compensation and employment for all working families in Ohio.

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