Letter: Agency employment biased toward high-level employees
I don't know if federal employees are paid too much, too little or just enough. But based on many years as a civil servant I have two observations:
1. In my field -- software development -- it's always been difficult to bring qualified people on board. The usual reasons are the long process -- typically a year or more -- the needs for a clearance and low starting pay, even though pay becomes much better after a few years on the job.
2. In "Do feds get paid enough?" Chris Edwards' comparison of compensation to the "typical U.S. worker" is dishonest. At my agency, and in many parts of the government, nearly all low-level jobs have been contracted out in the past 25 years. Not just administrative support and the like, but also entry-level professionals.
The result is that agency employment is heavily biased toward a highly qualified senior workforce with a relatively high average salary. Any comparison to the national private workforce should be made using senior attorneys, engineers, accountants, etc. I doubt such a comparison would yield the discrepancy Edwards cites.
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