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The Advantages of State Employment

Public sector employment involves working for the government at a state or local government level. Private sector jobs are traditionally considered to offer better compensation and benefits than government jobs, but that's not necessarily the case. State and government jobs may not be able to compete with the financial bonuses private sector employees enjoy, but they offer immense job security and tax-free benefits. Public sector employees also have the advantage of collective bargaining for benefits through their respective labor and employee unions. State and government employees enjoy many other advantages and benefits.

Salary

State and government employees are generally paid better than people doing the same in the private sector. For instance, transit bus drivers and USPS employees are better paid than private bus drivers and employs of private postal companies, respectively. Public sector employees also get better salary increases than their private sector counterparts because these increments are not related to performance but instead depend on the duration of employment. As long as a public sector employee meets the minimum requirements, he will get a sizable increment every year.

Job Security

Once a person is employed in the public sector, she's reasonably assured of retaining her job as long as she wants it and acts as a responsible employee. In the private sector, the chance of being laid off is three times higher than the public sector. Job security is an important benefit offered by the public sector to attract employees from the private sector.

Work Hours

A majority of state employees work a traditional 9 to 5 shift. Private employees may be required to work overtime without any overtime pay, while public employees get paid for overtime work. In some states, state and local government employees have to work fewer days per week than private employees.

Retirement

More than half of the public employees have the option of retiring after 30 years of service or after age 55, while approximately 10 percent of private employees get this benefit. A vast majority (90 percent) of state employees are guaranteed “defined benefit” pension, which is more expensive than the private sector’s “defined contribution” pension because it doesn't depend on a person’s earnings while employed. Some states also provide health insurance for retired employees as well as tax-free pension payments.

Other Benefits

Public employees also get more paid vacations than their private sector counterparts--on average, about 10 more days every year and 1.5 years more over a lifetime. They also get twice as many personal days off. State employees generally get generous severance payments. For instance, in some states, transit employees are paid for six years after being laid off. State employees also enjoy some paid and non-paid benefits that are free of federal and state taxes.



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