Tag Archives: public sector pay

Federal Job Security

Back in the old days, government jobs didn’t pay very well compared to private sector jobs. But they’ve always offered better job security. For people who value not having to worry about being laid off, it can be a fair tradeoff.

Today, federal jobs tend to pay much better than comparable private sector jobs. There are other perks such as early retirement, and exceedingly generous pension and health benefits. And job security? That remains as high as ever. USA Today reports:

Death — rather than poor performance, misconduct or layoffs — is the primary threat to job security at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Management and Budget and a dozen other federal operations.

The federal government fired 0.55% of its workers in the budget year that ended Sept. 30 — 11,668 employees in its 2.1 million workforce. Research shows that the private sector fires about 3% of workers annually for poor performance, says John Palguta, former research chief at the federal Merit Systems Protection Board, which handles federal firing disputes.

For those interested in learning more, I recommend my colleague Iain Murray’s new book, Stealing You Blind.

There Is Nothing Left to Cut

Today’s Los Angeles Times:

The highest-paid state employee in California last year, a prison surgeon who took home $777,423, has a history of mental illness, was fired once for alleged incompetence and has not been allowed to treat an inmate for six years because medical supervisors don’t trust his clinical skills.

CEI Podcast for June 29, 2011: Stealing You Blind


Have a listen here.

Vice President for Strategy Iain Murray‘s new book is Stealing You Blind: How Government Fat Cats Are Getting Rich Off of You. He explains why the Washington, DC area is the richest in the country, tells the story of the small-town city manager with a tax-free $1 million-per-year pension, and offers some reforms that could bring government down to a more appropriate size.