That treasure trove of data the Bureau of Labor Statistics has a fascinating report that it calls the “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation” report. Last Wednesday it released its report on the compensation costs at various employer types (and locales) for March 2010. One of the interesting things it does, as picked up on Mark Perry’s (great) blog, is to spin out the government’s estimate of overall hourly wages – for private industry, and for state and local government workers. The government workers win in a first round knockout…
The report measures the hourly compensation costs – salaries and benefits paid out plus whatever it costs to administrate those benefits and wages. The report paints a depressing picture for private employers versus public employers, with the private employers paying out $27.73 in total compensation per hour, while state and local governments paid out a cool $39.81 an hour. Overall, workers compensation cost $29.71 in March.
Of course, I’m only giving you the topline numbers. If you take a look into the report you can compare across categories, and compare types of workers and their compensation, which is a much better gauge of disparity. For example, take the ‘Sales and Office’ category, where public trumps private to the tune of $27.63 vs. $21.77 in per-hour compensation costs.
Other Myths Debunked
For an interesting sidenote, here are the per hour compensation costs measured by company size (perhaps a reason to stop some of the big business hatred?):
Fair? Unfair? Who cares? Let me know whatever way you fall!