19% of Federal Employees Make Over $100,000

-- Federal Government - Capitol Hill building --According to USA Today (link below), the number of federal employees making $100,000 or more in salary (before overtime pay and bonuses) jumped to 19% (from 14%) during the first eighteen months of the recession.

Despite the fact that the national unemployment rate ticked over 10% for the first time in over 25 years, the federal government doled out money to its workers at an astonishing rate.

Case in point - according to the USA Today, when the recession started back in December of 2007, only one Transportation Department employee was earning over $170,000 per year in salary. 18 months later, and nearly 1,700 Transportation Department workers are earning in excess of $170,000.

This trend has emerged in other departments as well, including the Defense Department.

In December of 2007, less than 1,900 Defense Department employees were earning $150,000 or more. A year and a half later and this figure is up to over 10,000.

According to USA Today, the average federal worker makes $71,206, nearly double the annual salary of an average worker in the public sector.

Jessica Klement, government affairs director for the FMA (Federal Managers Association), contends that "the federal workforce is highly paid because the government employs skilled people such as scientists, physicians and lawyers." She goes on to say that federal employees make substantially less than private workers in comparable positions.

This is all well and good, but it doesn't change the fact that many highly-paid government workers have received substantial (emphasis on substantial) pay raises while the country has suffered through one of the worst recessions in its history. Many people find this pretty distasteful when there are currently so many people who are out of work.

The article points out that an easing of pay caps, large pay hikes in 2008 and 2009 and a new pay system have contributed to the surge in "six-figure salaries" over the past couple of years.

Source: USA Today - For Feds, More Get 6-Figure Salaries

Photo: Elliott P.

Filed under: General Knowledge

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