Public-sector benefits rule, according to employees.

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A Gallup poll asked both public- and private-sector workers howsatisfied they are with 13 different aspects of their jobs. Andaccording to data from the last five years of Gallup’s annual “Workand Education” poll, there’s a measurable difference when it comesto satisfaction with retirement plans and otherbenefits.

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They’re pretty much on a par with each other when asked howsatisfied they are with a number of job aspects, with percentagesvarying only slightly. For instance, 91 percent of workers in eachcategory — both public and private — said they were eithercompletely or somewhat satisfied with the physical safety of theirworkplace.

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Sixty-nine percent of public-sector workers said they werecompletely or somewhat satisfied with chances for promotion,compared with 66 percent of private-sector workers, while thepublic sector actually did worse in such areas as flexibility ofhours (85 percent of public-sector employees, compared with 87percent of private-sector), recognition of work accomplishments (76percent of public-sector employees vs. 79 percent ofprivate-sector) and the amount of on-the-job stress (64 percentof public-sector employees, vs. 67 percent of private-sector).

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But when it comes to benefits, especially retirement plans, allthat changes. Eighty-two percent of government employees are happywith their retirement plans, compared with just 57 percent ofprivate-sector workers — a difference of 25 percentage points.Health insurance benefits are similarly highly rated by thepublic-sector folks, at 80 percent, compared with, again, 57percent of private-sector workers. And vacation time pleases themmore, too, with 91 percent of public-sector workers saying they’rehappy with it compared with 74 percent of the private sector.

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Gallup said in the study that “a federal advisory body foundlast year that, on average, federal government employees earn morethan a third less than their private-sector counterparts, but thesedata show that government employees are justas satisfied, on average, with their pay as are private sectorworkers.”

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