How Has US Federal Employee Income Changed over Time?

Federal workers in the United States have seen steady increases in salary over the past decade — in fact, the number of federal employees making more than $150,000 US Dollars (USD) a year went up by more than 10 times between 2005 and 2010 and doubled between 2009 and 2010. In the Department of Defense alone, the number of civilian workers earning more than $170,000 USD went up almost 100-fold between 2000 and 2010. Half of that increase took place in the six months after President Barack Obama took office.

More facts about government jobs:

  • Many government workers make more than those in comparable jobs in the private sector. The average annual salary of a US federal employee in 2009 was about $80,000 USD, and those in the private sector made an average of $50,000 USD. Federal employees report almost four times more benefits too.

  • Congresspersons are becoming wealthier as well — wealth among congressional officials went up 16 percent between 2008 and 2009 alone. Although their salary has not increased, almost half of U.S. congresspeople are worth at least $1 million USD, and about one-fourth are worth more than $10 million USD.

  • After adjusting for inflation, federal compensation has increased by almost 35 percent since 2000, while that of private workers increased less than 10 percent.
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