Differences Between Federal & Private Employees

In the United States, there are about 7.4 million full-time workers employed in state and local governments. Majority of workers are employed in the private sector, while government employees make up about twelve to twenty-five percent of the total workforce. It has long been debated about whether federal or private employees have better jobs. However, each industry has advantages and disadvantages when it comes to employment. John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law examines the differences between federal and private employees in this blog post.

Workplace Satisfaction

According to the Partnership for Public Service, private-sector employees are generally happier with their jobs than federal employees. In 2018, private-sector employees earned a score of 77.1 out of 100 for employee engagement. Meanwhile, federal employees scored 62.2 out of 100 for workplace engagement.

Compensation and Benefits

Overall, federal employees make about seventeen percent more in total compensation than comparable employees in the private sector. However, for both federal and private-sector employees, this typically depends on their level of education. Federal employees with a high school diploma or less or a bachelor's degree usually earn more in salary and benefits than employees in the private sector. However, private-sector employees with a master's degree and/or a doctorate degree are more likely to make more income than federal employees.

According to a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), federal employees with only a high school diploma typically earned thirty-four percent more in salary, ninety-three percent more in benefits, and fifty-three percent more in total compensation when compared to an employee in the private sector with a similar education level.

For federal employees with at most a bachelor's degree, they earned on average 5 percent more in salary, fifty-two percent more in benefits, and twenty-one percent more in total compensation than private-sector employees with the same level of education. Finally, federal employees with a professional or doctorate degree received twenty-four percent less in wages, and eighteen percent less in total compensation. In this level of education, benefits were about the same for each sector.

Job Security

Private companies go out of business, downsize, or relocate. However, there will always be a need for the services the government supplies unless job cuts are made due to economic recessions. Also, the rights of federal employees are protected by law so government employees cannot be dismissed unless there is a cause.

On the other hand, private-sector workers can be fired for any reason excluding race, gender, age, if they are pregnant, or if they have a disability. Private sector employees are three times more likely to be fired than employees working for the government. In 2016, 1.5 million people were fired in the private sector, while only 88,000 employees were fired in the government.

Federal Employees Have Legal Rights

With regards to employment, private employees do not have the same rights and protections as federal employees, making it easier to fire them. Because of the rights federal employees have, they are more likely to stay employed because their rights are protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

If you are a federal employee and have been wrongfully terminated, reach out to John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law. It's important to remember that you have options when you unfairly lose your job. We're ready to fight to protect your rights and help you seek justice.

Call John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law at (202) 759-7780 for more information about your rights as a federal employee.