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.