Survey: Feds have it good compared to private sector workers

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A new survey shows that most Americans still believe government employees are better off than private sector workers.

Private sector employees work harder than government employees, said 67 percent of respondents to a December poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports. Sixty-seven percent of the 1,000 people surveyed also said federal workers have more job security than their private sector counterparts -- a finding that most government employees agreed with.

The survey also revealed differences over private and public sector salaries. Fifty-one percent of Americans now believe government workers earn more money than the average private sector employee, but that is down slightly from 58 percent in September, the survey said. Sixty-one percent of respondents who work at private companies said they think feds earn more than they do, but 50 percent of government workers disagreed.

President Obama and Congress extended the two-year pay freeze for civilian federal workers at least through March 27, 2013, when the current continuing resolution keeping the government open expires. Despite the across-the-board pay freeze, feds have been eligible for salary boosts through within-grade increases and promotions.

Americans are almost evenly split on their opinion of government employee unions. Forty-nine percent of respondents favor them, while 46 percent oppose them.

Forty-seven percent believe it would be bad for the economy if the government hires more people, while 33 percent think it would be good for the country. Only 12 percent of respondents believe Uncle Sam should hire the long-term unemployed, however.

The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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