Last weekend Occupy Portland stood shoulder to shoulder with postal workers to protest layoffs at the USPS. As they protest income disparities in America maybe the Occupiers should take a closer look at the public union members with whom they stand.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011 state and local public employees in the U.S. were compensated almost 50 percent more than someone working in the private sector.
During the first three quarters of 2011 the average state or local public employee earned an annual total of $84,378. in wages and benefits. Compare that to the average private sector employee who earned $58,565.87. That’s over $25,000 less.
The chart below shows that the income gap hasn’t changed much over the last eight years.
Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/