On the heels of a national survey that revealed most Americans feel federal employees are paid too much, a new USA TODAY analysis uncovered that federal salaries have skyrocketed in several areas.
As reported earlier, a Washington Post poll found that 52% of Americans say that federal employees are overpaid for the work they do. And half think that federal employees don’t work as hard as those in the private sector.
A USA TODAY analysis of data from the Office of Personnel Management seems to back up what those people believe.
For example, the analysis found:
- the number of federal workers earning $150,000 or more per year has doubled since President Obama took office — making up 3.9% of the federal workforce (up nearly tenfold since 2005)
- highly-paid staff have increased in nearly every department and agency — The Defense Department had nine people earning $170,000 or more in 2005, 214 in 2008 and 944 this past June, and
- since 2005, average salaries for federal employees age 15 to 24 have climbed 25% versus the 9% inflation rate.
A separate analysis of federal pay trends from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows pay raises for federal employees outpacing those for private sector workers.
Since 2000, federal pay and benefits have jumped by an average of 3% per year above inflation, according to the bureau’s research. For private sector workers, the analysis showed that number climbed just 0.8% per year above inflation.
Raises on the way?
Federal workers are now in line for a 1.4% across-the-board raise, which conservative Republicans hope to shoot down with the firepower they added after the mid-term election.
But proponents of the raise say it’s necessary to more evenly align federal salaries with those in the private sector.
Whose side are you on? Share your opinions in the Comments Box below.