Cost of Federal Employees Who Said They'd Quit Under Trump: $65 Billion

Poll says 25 percent would leave, but going to private sector could mean big pay cuts

Back when the idea of Donald Trump becoming president was not taken seriously, the media picked up on a poll done in February that found that 1 in 4 federal employees would quit if Trump went on to win the election.

Many Trump voters might not object to that outcome, but it’s unlikely: The federal employees who said they’d quit make on average $120,000-plus a year if the cost of benefits is included.

The free-market Cato Institute tracks federal employee salaries and benefits and has posted the information on a website called DownsizingGovernment.org.

There are 2.1 million civilian federal employees — people who don’t wear a military uniform. If 25 percent of them quit that would mean 525,000 fewer people on the federal payroll.

The average total compensation for federal employees (salary plus benefits) was $123,160 in 2015. So if 525,000 of them quit their jobs the federal government would reduce its annual spending by $64.7 billion.

Looking at just wages and not benefits, the average salary for a federal civilian worker was $86,365 in 2015. By comparison, the average salary of a private sector worker in the U.S. that year was $58,726.

Many people assume that government workers earn less than their private sector counterparts, said Chris Edwards, editor of DownsizingGovernment.org.

“It used to be that government employees were paid less than private sector employees but that has changed dramatically in the last few decades,” Edwards said.

Stay Engaged

Simply enter your email below to receive our weekly email:

Facebook
Twitter

Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. It's growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years. But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them, transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government and imposed deed restrictions on property sales to private developers. All of it was aimed to hinder or even prevent charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

Related Sites