PROBLEMATIC STUDY ON FEDERAL PAY - September 27, 2017
Another Misleading Claim About Federal Pay
By Howard Risher, Government Executive
One of the rituals of Washington occurred last week. A new report from the libertarian Cato Institute argued that federal employees are paid above market rates: “Federal Pay Outpaces Private Pay in 2016.” Similar claims have been made annually by one or more think tanks for more than a decade. Normally the reports are forgotten a day or two later.
This report, however, could be different. It highlights the ease with which both sides to this argument can find competing government data that support their claims. The Cato report opens with a comparison of the average federal wage ($88, 809) in 2016, and the average of private workers ($59,458). The data are from the Bureau of Economic Analyses.