Should Congress refreeze federal worker pay?

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will consider a bill to partially refreeze federal employees pay--overriding an executive order issued late last year by President Obama that ended the pay freeze.

American Enterprise Institute (AEI) economist Andrew Biggs offers the following research to consider:

1. Underpaid? The claim that federal employees are underpaid by more than 20% versus private sector workers are highly misleading, ignoring both fringe benefits and the relative skills of federal and private workers. (link)

2.  Higher Salaries and Benefits: Most independent analyses of federal employee pay – including from AEI and the Congressional Budget Office – find that federal employees receive higher salaries and benefits and similar private sector workers.

3.  Go Private, Get Less: Most federal workers who leave for private sector jobs don’t get a pay increase – they accept a salary cut. (link)

4.  Salaries Rising: Since 2007 federal employee salaries have risen by an average of 15%, while private sector salaries have risen by only 10%. The idea that federal workers are falling behind the private sector isn’t correct. (link)

Andrew Biggs has written extensively on public sector compensation and is available for interviews. Please contact [email protected] or 202.862.5829

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