Who gets paid more state workers or private employees?

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) Who gets paid more a state worker or someone with the same job in the private sector? It really depends on the job.

ISER economists researched the question and reached this conclusion:

• Government workers earned 8% less on average for all occupations.
• But total compensation (wages plus benefits) was not significantly different on average for all public and private workers, because government benefits were more valuable.
• For occupations in the lower- and mid-ranges of the pay scale, government wages were generally lower—but more valuable benefits made government compensation equal to or higher than private.
• In higher-paying occupations, both government wages and total compensation were considerably less
than private pay and compensation.

Essentially if you are in upper management you were paid significantly lower than someone with the same job in the private sector and benefits don't make-up for the lower income. But, for lower level jobs, because of benefits, the job was monetarily worth about the same.

"At the upper level of the pay scale the public sector does not pay as well as the private sector," Mouhcine Guettab an assistant economics professor at UAA and one of the studies researchers said, "so for certain occupations like management occupations life and science occupations there were pretty significant differences."

Guettab said the study was done to help the debate as lawmakers scramble to figure out how to fix the massive $3.2 billion budget deficit.

"We want to have a good level of government to provide service, and attracting and retaining qualified workers is part of that mix," Guettab said, "so I completely understand there is the accounting exercise. We're worried about we have a significant budget gap, but ensuring we don't lose qualified workers needs to be taken into account."

According to the Dept. of Administration the State of Alaska employs approximately 16,000 employees statewide.

On average, Guettab said, most state workers are women, in their 40s, minorities, with higher education.

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