Raleigh, N.C. – As North Carolina struggles with double-digit unemployment and stagnant wages, the wage gap between state government employees and private sector workers doubled over the last decade, according to an analysis released today by the Civitas Institute.
Data from 2009 reveals that state employees earn an average salary of $44,158 while private sector employee wages averaged $39,350 – a difference of 12.2 percent.
The 2009 wage gap is twice the 6 percent pay differential from 2000, when average state employee wages were $32,832 compared to average private sector earnings of $30,977.
An increase in state government employee average salaries of 34.5 percent from 2000 to 2009 – compared to just 27 percent for the private sector – accounts for the widening pay gap.
The gap further increases when overall estimated benefits such as health care and pensions are considered. The average state worker’s compensation package reaches $67,008 when the typical benefits package is added to the average yearly wage. In contrast, average total compensation for North Carolina private sector workers is $55,737 – a 20 percent difference.
According to Civitas policy analyst Brian Balfour, “These findings underscore the new class struggle that has emerged between North Carolina’s private sector workers and the privileged political class.”