Report: Public Employees Make Less Than Those In Private Sector In NYC

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – On average, New York City employees are paid 17 percent less than workers in the private sector.

That’s according to New York City Comptroller John Liu‘s report, done by his chief economist.

WCBS 880 reporter Rich Lamb with NYC Comptroller John Liu

“There have been characterizations of public employees as the new fat cats or the new welfare queens,” Liu told WCBS 880 reporter Rich Lamb. “I think what this research provides is a more objective basis from which to formulate public policy going into the future.”

Wages in NYC Private vs. Public 2006-2008 - Source: NYC Comptroller's Office

Wages in NYC Private vs. Public 2006-2008 - Source: NYC Comptroller's Office

LINK: Read the Full Report

On retirement, Liu found that, “Pensions costs for most city employees, such as teachers, office workers, and the non-uniformed services, are roughly on par with what large corporations would give their employees in defined contribution plans.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg dismissed the report, saying, “I have no idea how the comptroller comes up with those numbers.” He also said it really has nothing to do with anything.

National Wages Public vs. Private 2009 - Source: NYC Comptroller's Office

National Wages Public vs. Private 2009 - Source: NYC Comptroller's Office

More from Rich Lamb
  • demockery

    It is not about money folks. But yes, the facts conservatives quote are hand picked and taken out of context. It is about power and politics. This is a nationwide republican agenda to de-power unions and get a republican elected to the whitehouse. Yes unions support democrats. However the teachers union in NYS is outspent 3 or 4 to one by the private sector. IT also has the added advantage of destroying the entire democrat power base. If we say it enough, and we all say exactly the same thing, it becomes true. Look how people have been convinced that Obama is a Muslim and not born in the US. Just keep saying it and read from the script.

  • das kapital

    The concept of a salaried employee will soon end. We will all be little contractors, each responsible for his own taxes and benefits, scrounging to get the best deal possible, And since we will all be contractors and consultants rather than employees, there will no longer be unemployment compensation.
    I believe the next step in the Bloomberg Agenda is to not only fire everybody and replace with contractors and consultants, but to seek to recover salaries for unfulfilled goods and services. I am sure that this is on the minds of others like Scott Walker, John Kasich, Christie, etc.


    hey maggot..your right as a japanese earthquake..chas is a ya life the bloomy boychick pays him..landlords,con edison etc. get 18% we who work for the city get anything like that? hell no..the city time rip off..thats heer bloomberingers waterloo..

  • hammy

    It seems Bloomberg has managed to make the unions the scape goat of the city’s financial problems. Just as he managed to cast the teachers union as being evil. It’s not enough that the rich in this city are richer then ever, now we have to also further beat down our civil servants that live in 2 bedroom flats in the outer boroughs and commute in to work. Talk about adding insult to injury. These city workers are our police, municipal workers, firemen, garbage men. You see them in the streets, do you think they are living it large. Do you think this was their dream job and do they look like fat cats to you. Come on?

  • Auburn Dale

    Too bad the City gives employment preference to SUBURBANITES – especially in the police and fire departments. If the folks who work for the City can’t be bothered to live here, how can we expect them to act in our interests??

  • Sani Fornus

    Collective bargaining in the public sector must end. It’s a scam. Corrupt politicians (like union stooge Liu) take money and support from the unions in return for screwing the privately employed taxpayer by granting and defending the outrageous wages and benefits their union patrons enjoy.

    • hammy

      yeah and guys with money like Bloomberg can buy your vote and buy a the third mayoral term and then he wants to take more from the have nots that work for the city.

      • whereRdajobs

        THANK YOU. Can you run for mayor please.

        We need unions and collective bargaining.
        what is the alternative a permanent hiring/wage freeze.
        Or illegal strike!?!

        Get rid of corruption in wall st, government, and etc.
        Waste/corruption is so big it’s crazy.

        We need some real changes for the better for the vast majority of
        people not the top hats, Is it just me or is everything getting worse for the
        working stiffs.

        I do work for the city as a low level employee.
        I can retire 25/55 and I’m 30yr old now.
        I bet before I have a chance that will be out the window.

        Time for Michael Moore to start on some more movies.
        Everyone please watch “inside Job” deals w/ wall st. corruption.

  • mikenyc

    only emergency service – ie police and fire do the so called skating off at 20 years. get your facts straight!! pd and fd 20 year pensions are due to the toll the job takes on one’s body. it is a young persons job.
    private sector pay is better than public sector work. the trade off is the defined pension. everyone get over it. to the private sector person you should have taken a public job 15 years ago but you see you would have made alot less!! the define dpension is a trade off. stop whining if you chose to take the job w/ xmas bonuses, salary increases, etc, etc. you should have taken the lower paying city job w/ a define dpension or stop belly aching!!

  • Jose

    The number don’t lie.

  • Piguy

    Follow me for a day. Morning tutoring, math classes, afternoon tutoring, coach, father figure, pediatric counselor, marriage counselor, and then go home and grade papers. I started 34 years ago as a teacher, and now I have to do so much more all for the same pay. The only chair I occupy is the one I sit in on the commute. Without collective bargaining, I would have quit 20 years ago. My administrators quit bending the truth when we were given the right to negotiate.
    I was born to teach and I am proud to be a teacher. It saddens me that the media and some radical republicans have turned so many into haters of a profession that molds so many lives.

    • Technokat

      ::applause:: What I don’t get is why ignorant members of the public-at-large do not understand two things: 1. Teachers are taxpayers, too–2. Teachers DO work and should be compensated for said work. There are no hand-outs, no freebies. In the business world, “time is money,” and people pay into their health benefits. People talk about the public sector’s parity with the private sector. There never was. Teachers ALWAYS had to make do with less, and the idiots who know nothing of this just listen to the political rhetoric that states that teachers are getting more than they deserve? What a crock. So if all you crybabies making 6 figures with comparable education want parity, pay teachers what they are worth. I’m tired of the double standards about education that suggest a teacher’s time is not worth the measly salary s/he is paid. Keep the faith, my friend.

  • Chas

    This info is bogus. Most private companies do not have defined contribution plans any longer. Public employees skate off after twenty years while their private brethren are still working twenty more.

    This is in addition to the fact that public employees do very little “work” and really just ocupy a chair until it is time for their next “break”.

    Take all their collective bargaining rights away and make them earn a living like the rest of the U.S. private workers.

    • usmcmaggot

      ALL OF THE SUDDEN this has become an issue, OMG it was the UNION who destroyed the economy..NOT WALL STREET, NOT HALIBURTON, NOT the BANKS giving out ARM Loan, it was the UNIONS who undermined America.
      Let’s not blame Dick Cheney’s get rich quick scheme with HALIBURTON in Iraq (yes SADDAM had WMD’s because the US gave him WMD’s to use against Iran when we “friends”).
      How about Bloomberg’s mishandling of the CITYTIME Payroll system which has balloned from $60 Million to $800 Million (and still rising), or Bloomberg’s $1.2 Billion dollar 911 call system upgrade disaster…
      How abot the city paid $475 Million dollars in fees to the companies that invest the monies in the 5 City Pension funds, and that is just a yearly fee!!!
      How about State Politicians Hevesi, Bruno & Espada (either convicted or indicted) who commited crimes in office yet still COLLECT FULL PENSIONS!!!
      So stop complaining about the Unions, OUR BENEFITS were given to us in lieu of MONETARY RAISES so please stop your crying and take a Civil Service exam, if not go get a job on Wall Street they are still giving out SIX FIGURE BONUSES!!!

  • DM

    These is statistically meaningless data! But since they brought it up, aren’t all those city workers unionized, while the private sctor employees they are compared to are not? Looks tio me like the union isn’t doing their job if thats all the higher wages they could negotiate.

    Also notice that governments pay much higher wages for non-skilled workers than priovate sectors. Guess if you want to be an uneducated, unskilled person and be comfortable with that lot in life, government is the place to be.

    • usmcmaggot

      DM we gave up the money for the BENEFITS, that’s why we have Unions!! Also to insure our workplace is safe, protect us against discrimination, sexual misconduct by supervisors and all the other HAZARDS that are COMMON in the Private Sector!!!
      It’s been like that for years BUT now WALL STREETS CORRUPTION is not to BLAME, it was the Unions who destroyed the economy…WAKE UP AMERICA, the Republicans are using this as an excuse and you are falling into the trap!!

      • chas

        usmc…get back to work (or maybe start) as you are wasting my tax dollars right now. You likely are way too ugly to worry about sexual harassment so stop deluding yourself that you require a union to protect your precious rights.

  • Madonna

    Why does this study compare pubic employess against private employess with defined benefit pension plans? Those are largely gone for the private sector, having been replaced by 401Ks.

  • Jack

    Yes, but the workload is usually much less. I came from public to private sector. 25% raise, but estimated 75% more work and responsibility. Less vacation, fewer sick days. Do the math.

  • john

    They should make less. They do less. Plus they get two to four weeks paid off between vacation, paid holidays and sick days. So…nice try liberal media to sway sympathies, but We the People aren’t buying it!

    • usmcmaggot

      and this secret has been hidden for years UNTIL NOW…OMG so lets destroy unions and allow WALL STREET to keep giving out SIX FIGURE bonsuses evn though they have not PAID BACK the “BAILOUT MONEY” yet…..
      John your morals stopped you from getting a Union job right???
      Workplace Safety, Equal Employment Oppurtunity, Bosses not sexually harrassing workers…..UNIONS protect US from the “ravages” of the Private Sector….

  • usmcmaggot

    Of course Bloomberg disnisses this report just like he disnissed CORRUPTION on the CITYTIME PROJECT & TERM LIMITS!!!
    Bloomberg WASTED $2 Billion dollars of the TAXPAYERS MONEY on Citytime and his “FAILED” UPGRADE of the 911 Call system but he takes absolutely NO ACCOUNTABILITY but is MAD at COMPTROLLER LIU for no funding MORE MONEY to these FAILED PROJECTS!!!
    It’s a disgrace to close Senior Centers when OVER $80 MILLION DOLLARS was STOLEN from the CITYTIME project “on Bloomberg’s watch”!!!!
    Mike mit’s time to ADMIT that YOU WASTED $2 Billion dollars & the Unions are not at fault for this economy….Wall Street & Political windbags like you Pedro Espada, Alan Hevesi & Bruno are the reason this State is slowly going into the toilet!!!

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