Monday, May 03, 2010

The Pushback: Employee Comp Public v. Private

You won't be surprised to read this; it's a pushback to the month-old (IIRC) USAToday article. The game is on.

Employees of state and local government earn an average of 11 percent and 12 percent less, respectively, than comparable private sector employees. Furthermore, an analysis spanning two decades shows the pay gap between public and private sector employees has widened over the last 15 years and continues on that same path today

Jobs in the public sector typically require more education than private sector positions. Thus, state and local employees are twice as likely to hold a college degree or higher as compared to private sector employees. Only 23 percent of private sector employees have completed college as compared to about 48 percent in the public sector.

Wages and salaries of state and local employees are lower than those for private sector employees with comparable earnings determinants such as education and work experience. State workers typically earn 11 percent less and local workers 12 percent less --Bender & Heywood (UW-Milwaukee professors): Center for State and Local Government Excellence

Note the key word: "education". It is certainly true that colleges and universities demand highly-educated people as educators. No one would argue with that.

But it is also certainly true that Governments demand 'education' for positions which don't really call for it; IOW, governments often have an over-educated workforce. Does one need a college degree for public safety work? A degree for DPW work? For functionary positions? Vehicle maintenance? City clerk? Clerical positions?

You see, the authors would like to use 'education' as a proxy for 'utility' or 'capability,' which is impossible.

1 comment:

Tim Morrissey said...

A HUGE "Amen" to this post....