State and Local Government Employees Compensated 46.2% More on Average Than Private Industry Employees

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 16, 2021 | 3:05pm EDT
San Francisco Mayor London Breed and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
San Francisco Mayor London Breed and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - The average hourly wages and benefits of state and local government employees are 46.2 percent more than the average hourly wages and benefits of workers in private industry, according to data published Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

State and local governments paid workers an average total compensation of $53.59 per hour in June of this year, while private industries paid workers an average total compensation of $36.64 per hour—or $16.95 per hour less than state and local government workers.

Employee compensation includes both the wages an employer pays a worker and the amount the employer pays for the worker’s benefits.

“State and local government worker compensation costs for employers averaged $53.59 per hour worked in June 2021,” said BLS. “Wage and salary costs averaged $33.09 and accounted for 61.7 percent of employer costs, while benefit costs averaged $20.50 and accounted for 38.3 percent.

“Private industry worker compensation costs for employers averaged $36.64 per hour worked in June 2021,” said BLS. “Wage and salary costs averaged $25.89 and accounted for 70.6 percent of employer costs, while benefit costs averaged $10.76 and accounted for 29.4 percent.”

Notably, the hourly cost of the average benefits for state and local government workers ($20.50) was $9.74 more—or 90.5 percent more—than private-industry workers ($10.76).

 

The BLS published a breakdown of the total compensation paid to state and local government workers by their “occupational and industry group.” Among these, the highest paid were “primary, secondary, and special education school teachers,” who earned an average of $70.69 in total compensation in June.

The second-highest paid were “management, professional, and related” workers. Their average total hourly compensation was $64.24 in June.

The BLS also published a breakdown of the total compensation paid to private industry employees by their “occupational and industry group.”  Among these, the highest paid were “management, business, and financial occupations” in the “manufacturing industry.” They were paid an average hourly compensation of $79.51.

The lowest paid workers were those in “service occupations” in the “leisure and hospitality industry.” They earned an average hourly compensation of $15.15.

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