Publication Date



[Excerpt] The federal government competes with private-sector employers and state and local governments to attract and retain workers with the talents, skills, and experience that it needs to operate effectively. Recently, however, concern about the federal budget and about equity between the public and private sectors has focused greater attention on the costs that the federal government incurs to compensate its employees. This Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study—prepared at the request of the Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee—presents a statistical analysis of the differences between federal and private sector compensation. The study is accompanied by two CBO working papers, Comparing Wages in the Federal Government and the Private Sector and Comparing Benefits and Total Compensation in the Federal Government and the Private Sector, which explain in detail the methodology underlying this analysis. In keeping with CBO’s mandate to provide objective, impartial analysis, the study and the working papers do not contain any recommendations.


Suggested Citation

Congressional Budget Office. (2012). Comparing the compensation of federal and private-sector employees. Washington, DC: Author.