Friday, April 30, 2010

Michigan Public Employees Earn Less Than Their Private-Sector Counterparts

Another myth bites the dust. You know how Republicans are running around insisting that state employees and teachers need to make more wage and benefit concessions to match what has happened to employees in the "private-sector"? Guess again.

Michigan public employees are paid, on average, less than private-sector employees with comparable skills and educational levels, according to a new study that compared wages in six large states.

Public employees nationwide are paid about 12% less than their private-sector counterparts. That has been a trend for 20 years, according to the study by the National Institute on Retirement Security.

When benefits, such as health care and pensions, are factored in, public employees still earn less -- 6.8% less for state employees and 7.4% for local government employees. The study, commissioned by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, did not include federal workers.

And for Michigan's public employees:

In 2008, Michigan state employees were paid about 6% less and local government employees about 12% less than their private-sector counterparts. The study counted public teachers as local employees and university employees as state employees.

If public employees are expected to receive the same compensation as people in the private-sector, just like the Republicans claim they should, it looks like we will have to give them all a raise.