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Where do numbers come from for salary comparisons?

Ron DeSantis

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) introduced a bill to cancel a planned federal pay raise.

In a story about a bill to cancel a federal pay raise, an anonymous reader took issue with Rep. Darrell Issa's comparison of government and private-sector pay, asking, Where do they come up with these numbers? The average government worker has an increase of $3,328 and private sector $1,404?

Matthew Weigelt responds: The Office of Personnel Management provided the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee with data about federal employee pay. Based on that, the committee found the median federal employee pay increased by $3,164 during the pay freeze. It went from $69,550 in September 2010 to $72,714 in September 2012. The number increases to $3,328 when the committee includes seasonal and temporary employees like Census enumerators, some firefighters, or seasonal park service employees.

For the private sector's increase, the Congressional Research Service gave the committee the figures. Click here for a fact sheet from the oversight committee. The fact sheet includes some data a 2012 Congressional Budget Office report on comparisons between the two sectors. It may be useful as you think about the whole issue.

Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Feb 22, 2013 at 12:10 PM


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