Taxpayers pay an average of $39.81 per hour to employ state and local government workers nationwide. That’s $12 per hour more than total compensation costs for private-sector employees, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The cost of private-sector employees (including benefits) averaged $27.73 per hour in March, the BLS reports (here).

Hourly wages for state and local government employees nationwide were $26.25 versus $19.58 for private-sector employees.

Benefit costs are a major factor boosting government employment costs:

  • Health insurance: government employees, $4.52 per hour; private sector, $2.08.
  • Retirement and savings costs: government, $3.16 per hour; private sector, 96 cents.
  • Paid leave (vacation, holiday, sick leave and personal leave): government, $ 3 per hour; private sector, $1.88.

The one category where private-sector labor costs are higher is supplemental pay, which includes overtime, shift differentials and nonproduction bonuses. Government workers are paid on average 33 cents per hour while private sector employee make 81 cents.

The 24-page report can be downloaded here.

Originally Published: NY Public Payroll Watch, June 10, 2010

You may also like

Meanwhile, on the mandate relief front

Governor Cuomo’s 2012-13 budget, to be presented later today, will command media attention for the rest of the week. Advance reports on his modified pension reform proposal are especially promising. Meanwhile, there’s a (fiscally) cost-free approach to helping local governments and school districts alleviate their budget problems: repealing the Triborough Amendment. Read More

Legislature rejects union arbitration cap

Governor Cuomo’s proposal to cap arbitration awards for police and firefighters is not included in the Senate or Assembly budget bills. This may be blessing in disguise: as argued here, Cuomo’s original proposal didn’t go nearly far enough. Since the arbitration law expires on June 30, the governor remains in a commanding position to demand more. Read More

Labor costs rose faster in public sector in ‘09

Employee compensation in the state and local government sector increased at twice the private-sector rate during the 12 months ending in December, according to national data released todayby the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read More

Getting Triborough wrong

“Mandate relief remains elusive,” is one of the state-related headlines in today’s Albany Times Union — and that much, at least, is true. Unfortunately, the articlebeneath the headline repeats a familiar canard about the origins of the Triborough Amendment. Read More

Persuading co-workers to retire

Oneida County employees participating in a proposed cash buyout program would have a strong incentive to get their co-workers to join them: their payments will increase if more employees participate. Read More

Examining MDs

Should physicians, who are licensed by the state of New York, be required to take a civil service exam in order to work for the state of New York? A state judge thinks so, but that's unlikely to be the last word on the controversy. Read More

Teaching without contracts

As schools open, the number of school districts at impasse with teacher unions has increased by 12 percent since a year ago, according to the Public Employment Relations Board. Also noteworthy--although not emphasized by PERB--nearly one out of three school districts has yet to negotiate a new contract with its teachers. Read More

Car 54, where are you?

New York City will track the whereabouts of its 379 building inspectors with GPS technology installed, not in their city-issued vehicles, but in their cell phones. Read More