Survey: Feds have it good compared to private sector workers


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.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.