Government workers cost 45% more than private sector workers

Nick Sorrentino
Posted: Mar 17, 2014 12:01 AM
Government workers cost 45% more than private sector workers

A couple of things here.

It is probably safe to say that government workers are nowhere near as efficient as private sector workers either. It just makes sense, the reality of the marketplace is suspended for government workers. (I have known a few.) The private sector seeks efficiency. Government, well let’s just say it doesn’t.

I remember a few years ago talking to a civilian employee of the Coast Guard who had recently retired and had just entered the private workforce. He was my friend and I asked him how it was going.

I remember, he smiled, looked at me and said something to the effect of, “Man, private sector work is a lot different. The demands are a lot more stringent. Deadlines are a lot tighter.” All I could do was nod.

Now before the government workers out there freak out I am sure that there are places in the government where efficiency is highly valued and people are at least as productive as the private sector. But I will also say that those cases are the extreme exception.

I knew of another fellow for instance who was employed with one of our state agencies here in Virginia. His daughter explained to me at a party how great her dad’s job was. He had a state truck and he was supposed to look for what we’ll call “rural law breakers.” Apparently finding these guys involved a lot of parking the truck in the woods and taking naps. And this young woman explained to me also that her dad had a sweet pension coming to him once he retired in a couple years.

Yeah – sweet. I thought to myself as my tax bill flashed in my head.

People don’t like being stolen from.


For the month of December 2013, employers in private industry spent an average of $29.63 per employee hour worked, but the equivalent cost for a government worker averaged $42.89 per hour. Not only do government employees average 33% higher pay than those in the private sector, their pension and retirement benefit costs are now an incredible 254% higher also. Given that compensation formulas for federal, state, and local government are comparable, it should come as no surprise that this year spending by the U.S. government will exceed revenue by an all-time high of $744.2 billion, and our gross national debt is a stunning $18.5 trillion.

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