In a recently published index measuring worker well-being in 2010 in different economic sectors, Gallup surveyed 183,992 workers throughout the 2010 year. Gallup compiled data on each surveyed worker's health, habits and working environment.
What the index found was a higher level of well-being among both federal and local public sector workers than within the private sector. Public sector workers also tend to have a higher life evaluation as well as more healthy behaviors than private sector workers. Private sector workers, however, tend to respond that they work in a more trusting environment.
Part of what accounts for these finds may have to do with higher levels of job security afforded by the public sector.
In a study released in 2007 by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, it was shown that that job loss rate among those in the private sector -- at the time, 10 percent -- was more than twice as high as was the job loss rate among state and local public sector employees. A Rasmussen Poll released in March also found that 66 percent of Americans polled stated that they believed government workers had greater job security than private sector workers.
Since the start of the Great Recession, public sector employees have come under increasing scrutiny from conservatives policy makers, who say public sector workers are too costly, reports the Weekly Standard. This has led Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, along with other Republican governors, to push for legislation cracking down on public sector unions.
According to a 2010 USA Today study based on Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, average federal salaries exceeded average private-sector pay in 83 percent of comparable occupations.
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