Think federal workers are overpaid? If so, you’ve got a lot of company.
Some 52% of Americans think that federal employees are overpaid for the work they do. And half say that those who keep the government running do not work as hard as employees in the private sector.
When asked whether federal workers should be better compensated, only 1 in 10 said “yes.”
That’s according to a recent Washington Post poll of 1,002 U.S. adults.
Some other findings:
- Three-quarters of those surveyed said they think federal employees are paid more — and get better benefits — than those working at private companies, and
- Older adults view federal employees’ compensation rates more negatively than younger adults (64% of those 65 and older said federal workers are overpaid, while those under 30 were much more likely to say federal employees are compensated fairly or not enough).
The government’s reaction
Federal officials say looking at public and private sector pay levels isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison. Their argument: Many jobs outside the government are in low-paying industries, while government workers tend to be more skilled.
But there’s still a lot of Americans that aren’t buying that argument. More than a third think private sector workers are actually more skilled than government employees.
Those not happy with the pay and benefits federal workers receive, may be happy to know that changes could be on the way. President Obama recently announced that when his administration takes up the federal budget in 2011, it will contemplate some changes to the workforce.
Obama said he won’t rule out furloughs or asking agencies to keep existing vacancies open to shrink the workforce. He also said government agencies have already been asked to develop plans for cutting their budgets.
Do you think federal workers are paid fairly or have the skills that private sector workers have? Share your opinions in the Comments Box below.