Are Federal Workers Underpaid?

Chairman Ross, Ranking Member Lynch and Members of the Committee. Thank you for offering me the opportunity to testify with regard to federal employee compensation.

My name is Andrew Biggs and I am a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. However, the views I express today are my own and do not represent those of AEI or any other institution.

My testimony today is based upon joint research with Jason Richwine of the Heritage Foundation. A copy of our working paper has been enclosed with my testimony.

We limit our analysis to one question: Do federal employees on average receive greater compensation than these individuals could receive in the private sector? Our answer, which is consistent with several decades of economic research, is yes. We will briefly outline federal pay with regard to salaries, benefits, and job security.

Before beginning, however, it is important to note what this analysis does not say: it does comment on the productivity of federal employees or whether the jobs they perform are worthwhile, nor does it comment on whether the number of federal employees is larger or smaller than is needed to perform the assigned tasks. It does not comment on the work or dedication of federal government employees.

It merely asks an empirical question: whether federal employees receive higher or lower pay than those employees could themselves garner in alternate employment in the private sector. . .

Read the full testimony and graphs as an Adobe Acrobat PDF

Andrew Biggs is a resident scholar at AEI.

 

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Monday, September 22, 2014 | 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Policy implications of the new US labor market normal

We welcome you to join us as a panel of economists discuss US wage and price prospects in the coming months and the implications for the Federal Reserve’s current unorthodox monetary policy.

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