As pro-union protesters erupt across the country, USA Today just released analysis that may cause a backlash against public unions. The findings? In 41 states, public employees “earn higher average pay and benefits” than private workers in each respective state.
The paper reports:
The analysis of government data found that public employees’ compensation has grown faster than the earnings of private workers since 2000. Primary cause: the rising value of benefits.
Wisconsin is typical. State, city and school district workers earned an average of $50,774 in wages and benefits in 2009, about $1,800 more than in the private sector. The state ranked 33rd in public employee compensation among the states and Washington, D.C. It had ranked 20th in 2000.
• California. Public employee compensation rose 28% above the inflation rate from 2000 to 2009 to an average of $71,385 in 2009.
• Nevada. Government employees earned an average of $17,815 more — or 35% — than private workers, the nation’s biggest pay gap. The state’s low-paying private jobs in tourism were the cause, says Bob Potts of the Center for Business and Economic Research at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
• Texas. The state ranked last in benefits for public employees. The state hasn’t granted cost-of-living increases to most retirees since 2001.