Employment Benefits of Government and Industrial Employees |

Comparision of private industry and Government in respect to medical and retirement benefits, life insurance and paid leave.

Employment Benefits of Government and Industrial Employees

As this chart illustrates, the benefits offered to employees of state and local government organizations greatly exceed benefits offered to employees in the private industry. Employee participation in the benefits offered is also much higher in the public sector. In every benefit category with the exception of paid leave, which is likely categorized differently in each industry, the public sector offers more benefits and sees greater participation among its employees than in the private sector.

Types of Benefits

The first chart covers four benefit categories, including medical and retirement benefits, life insurance, and paid leave. Other than paid holiday and paid vacation, the state and local government institutions offer benefits to employees at a much larger percentage than their private industry counterparts.

Medical benefits are offered to 88% of government employees with 73% participation. In the private industry, 71% of employees are offered medical benefits and only 52% participate. Government workers are offered retirement benefits in 90% of the cases with participation at 86%. That compares to 67% and 51% in the private industry, respectively.

The greatest disparity in both benefits offered and participation occurs in the retirement benefits category. State and local governments offer retirement benefits to 90% of employees with an 86% participation rate. That compares to the 67% of private companies that offer retirement benefits and 51% participation rate by the segment’s employees.

Paid leave is the only category in which private industry employees appear to be competitive with government employees. Although 89% of government employees are offered paid sick leave versus only 61% of private industry workers, some of the difference is made up in paid vacations and paid holidays. Private industry employees receive paid vacation in 77% of the cases and paid holiday in 78%. That compares to government employees who receive paid vacation 60% of the time and paid holiday 68%.

Benefits by Worker Category

The trend of government employees being offered more benefits than their private industry equivalents is continued when viewed by job category. Most categories favor the public sector by an overwhelming margin.

In the professional and related category, which includes careers such as teachers and nurses, 89% of government employees were offered benefits versus 82% in the private industry.

Protective services saw the largest discrepancy between public and private benefit offerings with 89% of public sector employees being offered benefits with only 56% in the private sector receiving the same offer.

Sales and office workers in private industry were offered benefits 72% of the time while state and local workers in the same field received benefit offers in 88% of instances.

Nearly all employees (95%) involved in the fields of natural resources, construction, and repair are offered benefits. However, just 77% of employees in private industry can make the same claim.

It’s somewhat more balanced in the production, transportation, and moving business where 83% of state and local government employees are offered benefits compared to 77% in private industry.

The private industry’s strongest segment is management, business, and financial in which 94% of employees are offered benefits. However, there is no relevant field to which it can be compared in state and local government.

Take-up Rates

As you might expect, the percentage of employees who accepted the benefit plans offered to them is greater in the public sector. 84% of government employees accept the medical benefits they are offered versus 74% in the private sector. Retirement benefits are accepted by 95% of state and local government workers compared to just 77% of private industry employees. However, nearly everybody accepted the life insurance benefit offered to them with 97% in the public sector and 96% in the private industry accepting the benefit.

As the data presented by the Labor Department so clearly illustrates, employees in state and local governments are offered benefits at a much larger rate than those employed in the private industry. Public sector employees also accept the benefits offered in larger percentages than individuals employed by private sector businesses.