For most Americans, the Great Recession has been an occasion to hold on for dear life. For public employees, it's been an occasion to let the good times roll.
The percentage of federal civil servants making more than $100,000 a year jumped from 14 percent to 19 percent during the first year and a half of the recession, according to USA Today. At the beginning of the downturn, the Transportation Department had one person making $170,000 or more a year; now it has 1,690 making more than that. [emphasis added]
The New York Times reports that state and local governments have added a net 110,000 jobs since the start of the recession, while the private sector's lost 6.9 million. The gap between total compensation of public and private workers has only widened during the downturn, according to USA Today. In 2008, benefits for public employees grew at a rate three times that of private employees.
Public employees have developed an inverse relationship to the rest of the economy -- as it shrinks, shedding jobs and cutting salaries, they draw on a never-ending taxpayer bounty. It used to be said that the Great Depression wasn't so bad, if you had a job. The Great Recession has practically been a boom, if you have a government job.
Public employees can thank the union label. In 2009, for the first time ever, a majority of union members worked in the public sector. Unionism has been in a long, secular decline in the private sector (down to 7.2 percent of all workers), but increasing in government (up to 37.4 percent of all workers). ...
Read the rest here. One in five FedGov employees makes over $100,000. Your tax dollars hard at work. Or not.