Benefits more generous for public workers

For workers looking to score better benefits, here’s an easy fix: Work for the government.

A new report from the Labor Department finds there’s a wide gap between the benefits public workers get compared to private-sector workers.

And the starkest contrast is in health care: 73 percent of state and local government workers—including 83 percent of full-time workers—receive health benefits through their jobs. In the private sector, only half (51 percent) of all workers get health benefits, and just under two-thirds of full-time workers do.

Government medical plans are also a bit more generous for individuals, covering 87 percent of premiums compared to 80 percent in the private sector. But there aren’t when it comes to family coverage, covering 71 percent of premiums compared to 69 percent in private industry.

Other benefits have a big gap, too. Public workers fair better with life insurance (79 percent vs. 57 percent); paid sick leave (89 percent vs. 61 percent); and retirement benefits (89 percent vs. 65 percent).


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