Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Gerald Mayer Analyst in Labor Policy March 14, 2012 Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov R41897 CRS Report for Congress Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Summary An issue for Congress and state and local governments is whether the pay and benefits of public workers are comparable to those of workers in the private sector. In addition, policymakers are looking at the pay and benefits of public sector employees as a way to reduce budget deficits. From 1955 to 2011, employment in the private sector increased by 65.5 million jobs (from 43.7 million to 109.3 million), while the number of jobs in the public sector (including federal, state, and local governments) grew by 15.1 million (from 7.0 million to 22.1 million). Since 1975, however, the percentage of all jobs that are in the public sector has fallen from 19.2% to 16.8%. Union coverage has declined in both the private and public sectors. But, the decline has been greater in the private sector. In 2009, for the first time, a majority of employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement were employed in the public sector. Private sector workers who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement are generally paid higher wages and receive more or better benefits than workers who are not covered by a union contract. In the federal government, except for the Postal Service and some smaller agencies, employees do not bargain over wages. Differences in the characteristics of full-time workers in the private and public sectors that may affect their relative pay and benefits include the following: • Age. Workers in the public sector are older, on average, than private sector workers. In 2011, 52.1% of full-time public sector workers were between the ages of 45 and 64, compared to 42.8% of full-time private sector workers. Federal workers are older than employees of state and local governments. In 2011, 55.8% of federal workers were between the ages of 45 and 64, compared to 51.9% of state employees and 50.8% of employees of local governments. Workers who have more years of work experience may earn more than workers with less experience. • Education. On average, public sector employees have more years of education than private sector workers. In 2011, 53.7% of workers in the public sector had a bachelor’s, advanced, or professional degree, compared to 34.0% of private sector workers. Generally, workers with more education earn more than workers with less education. • Occupation. A larger share of public sector workers than private sector workers are employed in “management, professional, and related occupations.” In 2011, 56.3% of public sector workers and 37.1% of private sector workers were employed in these occupations. Workers in management and professional occupations generally earn more than workers in other occupations. Comparisons in the compensation of private and public sector workers that use broad occupational categories may miss differences between detailed occupations. But, many detailed occupations are concentrated in either the private or public sectors. Many detailed occupations may require similar skills, however. • Union coverage. In almost all major occupational categories, union coverage is higher in the public sector than in the private sector. Congressional Research Service Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Contents Trends in Private and Public Sector Employment ........................................................................... 1 Union Coverage......................................................................................................................... 5 Individual, Occupational, and Employer Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers......................................................................................................................................... 7 Age ............................................................................................................................................ 7 Gender ....................................................................................................................................... 9 Education................................................................................................................................. 10 Occupation............................................................................................................................... 13 Major Occupations ............................................................................................................ 13 Union Coverage by Major Occupation ............................................................................. 14 Detailed Occupations ........................................................................................................ 16 Metropolitan Area.................................................................................................................... 16 Figures Figure 1. Private and Public Sector Employment, 1955 to 2011 ..................................................... 2 Figure 2. Public Sector Employment as a Share of Total Employment, 1955 to 2011.................... 3 Figure 3. Public Sector Employment, by Level of Government, 1955 to 2011............................... 4 Figure 4. Public Sector Employment, by Level of Government, as a Share of Total Employment, 1955 to 2011.................................................................................................. 4 Figure 5. Percent of Workers Covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement, 1983-2011 ........... 6 Figure 6. Percent of Full-Time Workers Who are Between the Ages of 45 and 64, 1976 to 2011 .............................................................................................................................................. 8 Figure 7. Percent of Full-Time Workers Who are Female, 1976 to 2011 ...................................... 10 Figure 8. Percent of Full-Time Workers with a Bachelor’s, Advanced, or Professional Degree, Private and Public Sectors, 1976 to 2011 ................................................. 11 Figure 9. Percent of Full-Time Workers with a Bachelor’s, Advanced, or Professional Degree, by Level of Government, 1976 to 2011 ........................................................................ 12 Figure 10. Percent of Full-Time Workers with an Advanced or Professional Degree, Private and Public Sectors, 1976 to 2011 ................................................................................... 13 Figure 11. Percent of Full-Time Employees Who Live in Metropolitan Areas With Populations of 1 Million or 5 Million or More, 2011 ................................................................. 17 Tables Table 1. Percent of Workers Employed by Sector and Major Occupation and Covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement, 2011 .................................................................................. 15 Table A-1. Number of Workers Employed by Occupation and Covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement, 2011 ...................................................................................................... 19 Congressional Research Service Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Table A-2. Occupations Common to Both the Private and Public Sectors, by Total Number Employed, 2011............................................................................................................ 21 Table A-3. Occupations More Common in the Private Sector, by Number Employed in the Private Sector, 2011........................................................................... 23 Table A-4. Occupations More Common in the Public Sector, by the Number Employed in the Public Sector, 2011 ............................................................................................................... 25 Table A-5. Values for the Education Variable in the Current Population Survey (CPS), 1976 to 2011 ............................................................................................................................... 28 Appendixes Appendix. Detailed Data and Description of Data Source and Methodology ............................... 18 Contacts Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 28 Congressional Research Service Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers A n issue for Congress and state and local governments is whether the pay and benefits of public workers are comparable to those of workers in the private sector.1 The effect of the December 2007-June 2009 recession on government budgets increased the interest of policymakers in the compensation of public sector employees. For FY2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the federal deficit will be $1.1 trillion.2 Several state and local governments also face budget shortfalls.3 Many policymakers are looking at the pay and benefits of government employees as a way to reduce budget deficits.4 This report begins with an analysis of the trends in employment in the private and public sectors. The public sector is separated into employees of the federal government, state governments, and local governments. Next, the report analyzes selected characteristics of private and public sector workers. These characteristics are often used in comparisons of the compensation of different workers. The report does not, however, compare the actual pay or benefits of private and public sector workers or compare the characteristics of workers to try to explain any differences in the pay and benefits of private and public sector workers.5 Trends in Private and Public Sector Employment This section of the report examines the trends in employment in the private and public sectors. The data are from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, which is an employer survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment includes both full-time and parttime workers. Data are for 1955 to 2011. The beginning year of 1955 is used because that is the first year that the CES survey provides data on the number of employees of state and local governments. In the CES, government employment includes civilian employees only; the military is not included. 1 Under the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (FEPCA), the pay of federal employees should be comparable to the pay of other employees who do the same type of work in the same local area. FEPCA is Section 529 of the Treasury, Postal Service and General Government Appropriations Act, 1991 (P.L. 101-509). 2 Congressional Budget Office (CBO), The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012 to 2022, January 2012, p. 1, available at http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/01-31-2012_Outlook.pdf. 3 According to a report by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 19 states and the District of Columbia are projected to have budget deficits in FY2013. Elizabeth McNichol, Phil Oliff, and Nicholas Johnson, States Continue to Feel Recession’s Impact, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, February 27, 2012, Table 2, available at http://www.cbpp.org/files/9-8-08sfp.pdf. 4 In 2010, President Obama proposed, and Congress approved, a two-year pay freeze for federal civilian employees. The pay freeze applies to calendar years 2011 and 2012. The pay freeze was included in the Continuing Appropriations and Surface Transportation Extensions Act, 2011 (P.L. 111-322). On February 1, 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation, H.R. 3835, that would extend the pay freeze for federal civilian workers for one more year (to the end of 2013). For FY2013, President Obama has proposed a 0.5% pay increase for federal civilian workers. U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States Government, FY2013, Chapter 11, p. 114, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/ management.pdf. President Obama’s Fiscal Commission proposed a three-year pay freeze for federal civilian employees and recommended that federal workers contribute more to their health insurance and retirement plans. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, The Moment of Truth: Report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, December 2010, pp. 26, 40, 44-45, available at http://www.fiscalcommission.gov/sites/ fiscalcommission.gov/files/documents/TheMomentofTruth12_1_2010.pdf. 5 For an analysis of the compensation of private and public sector workers, see Congressional Budget Office, Comparing the Compensation of Federal and Private-Sector Employees, January 2012, available at http://cbo.gov/ sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/01-30-FedPay.pdf. Congressional Research Service 1 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers From 1955 to 2011, employment grew in both the private and public sectors. Most of the growth in public sector employment was at the state and local level. However, the number of jobs in the public sector as a share of total employment has fallen since 1975. From 1955 to 2011, employment in the private sector increased by 65.5 million jobs (from 43.7 million to 109.3 million after rounding), while employment in the public sector grew by 15.1 million jobs (from 7.0 million to 22.1 million). Despite the larger increase in the number of private sector jobs, public sector employment grew by 215%, compared to an increase of 150% in the private sector (see Figure 1). In 1955, public sector employment accounted for 13.8% of total employment in the United States. This percentage increased to 19.2% in 1975, but fell to 16.8% in 2011 (see Figure 2). Conversely, from 1955 to 1975 private sector employment fell from 86.2% to 80.8% of total employment, before increasing to 83.2% in 2011. Figure 1. Private and Public Sector Employment, 1955 to 2011 (in millions) 120 100 80 60 40 20 Total private 11 20 05 20 00 20 95 19 90 19 85 19 80 19 75 19 70 19 65 19 60 19 19 55 0 Total public Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics survey, available at http://stats.bls.gov/ces/. Congressional Research Service 2 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Figure 2. Public Sector Employment as a Share of Total Employment, 1955 to 2011 22.0% 20.0% 18.0% 16.0% 14.0% 11 20 05 20 00 20 95 19 90 19 85 19 80 19 75 19 70 19 65 19 60 19 19 55 12.0% Total public Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics survey, available at http://stats.bls.gov/ces/. From 1955 to 2011, the growth in public sector employment occurred mainly among state and local governments. At the local level, employment rose by an estimated 10.6 million jobs (from 3.6 million to 14.2 million). Employment at the state level rose by about 3.9 million jobs (from 1.2 million to 5.1 million) (see Figure 3). From 1955 to 2011, employment at the local level increased from 7.0% to 10.8% of total employment (an increase of 3.8 percentage points). Among state governments, employment increased from 2.3% to 3.9% of total employment (an increase of 1.6 percentage points) (see Figure 4). Including the Postal Service, in 2011 the federal government employed an estimated 563,000 more workers than in 1955 (an increase from 2.3 million to 2.9 million) (see Figure 3). Despite the increase in the number of federal jobs, federal employment as a share of total employment fell from 4.5% in 1955 to 2.2% in 2011 (a decline of 2.3 percentage points) (see Figure 4). Congressional Research Service 3 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Figure 3. Public Sector Employment, by Level of Government, 1955 to 2011 (in millions) 15 12 9 6 3 Local Federal 11 20 05 20 00 20 95 19 90 19 85 19 80 19 75 19 70 19 65 60 19 19 19 55 0 State Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics survey, available at http://stats.bls.gov/ces/. Figure 4. Public Sector Employment, by Level of Government, as a Share of Total Employment, 1955 to 2011 12.0% 10.0% 8.0% 6.0% 4.0% 2.0% Local Federal 11 20 05 20 00 20 95 19 90 19 85 19 80 19 75 19 70 19 65 19 60 19 19 55 0.0% State Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics survey, available at http://stats.bls.gov/ces/. Congressional Research Service 4 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Union Coverage A worker who is covered by a collective bargaining agreement may or may not be required to pay union dues. A worker who is covered by a union contract may work in a right-to-work state and is not required to pay dues.6 Federal workers who are covered by a union contract are not required to pay dues. Some state and local government employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement are not required to pay dues. The number of American workers covered by a collective bargaining agreement has declined since 1979. In 1979, an estimated 23.5 million workers were covered by a union contract. By 2011, the number had fallen to 16.3 million.7 In 2009, for the first time, a majority of workers covered by a collective bargaining agreement were employed in the public sector. In 2011, an estimated 8.3 million public sector workers and 8.0 million private sector workers were covered by a collective bargaining agreement.8 Figure 5 shows the percentage of private and public sector workers who were covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Because union coverage is higher in the Postal Service than in the rest of the federal government, Figure 5 shows the Postal Service and the rest of the federal government separately. The data are for 1983 through 2011. The beginning year of 1983 is used because that is the year when the CPS began collecting monthly data on union coverage. In 2011, an estimated 51.1% of workers covered by a collective bargaining agreement were employed in the public sector. Most public sector workers covered by a collective bargaining agreement were employed by local governments (30.4% of all covered workers). An estimated 13.4% of covered workers were employed by state governments and 7.3% were employed by the federal government. From 1983 to 2011, the percentage of workers covered by a collective bargaining agreement fell from 23.6% to 13.1% (a decline of 10.5 percentage points). Since 1983, the percentage of workers represented by a union has fallen in both the private and public sectors. In the private sector, union coverage fell from 18.8% to 7.7% of all wage and salary workers (a decline of 11.1 percentage points). In the public sector, union coverage fell from 45.5% to 40.7% (a decline of 4.8 percentage points). In the public sector, the largest decrease in union coverage was in the Postal Service, where coverage fell from 83.5% of workers in 1983 to 73.3% of workers in 2011 (a decline of 10.2 6 Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act (i.e., the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, P.L. 80-101) allows states to enact right-to-work laws, which do not allow collective bargaining agreements to include union security agreements. A union security agreement may require employees to pay union dues after being hired. An employee who objects to the use of his or her dues for political purposes may pay a reduced agency fee (which covers the cost of collective bargaining and contract administration and enforcement). 7 Barry T. Hirsch and David A. Macpherson, Union Membership and Coverage Database from the Current Population Survey, available at http://www.unionstats.com. 8 The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) governs labor-management relations in most of the private sector. Labormanagement relations in the railroad and airlines industries are governed by the Railway Labor Act (RLA) of 1926. In the federal sector, labor management relations are governed by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (FSLMRS, Title VII of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, P.L. 95-454). Labor-management relations for state and local workers are governed by state and local law. For an explanation of collective bargaining rights in the public sector, see CRS Report R41732, Collective Bargaining and Employees in the Public Sector, by Jon O. Shimabukuro. Congressional Research Service 5 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers percentage points). In the rest of the federal government, coverage fell from 29.4% to 23.4% (a decline of 6.0 percentage points). Coverage fell from 51.0% to 46.6% in local governments (a decline of 4.5 percentage points after rounding) and from 35.9% to 34.9% in state governments (a decline of 1.0 percentage point). Figure 5. Percent of Workers Covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement, 1983-2011 100.0% 90.0% 80.0% 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% Postal Service Local State Federal (excluding Postal) 11 20 05 20 00 20 95 19 90 19 85 19 19 83 0.0% Private Source: Barry T. Hirsch and David A. Macpherson, Union Membership and Coverage Database from the CPS, available at http://www.unionstats.com. Union coverage can affect the relative pay of union and nonunion workers. Workers who are represented by a union generally receive higher wages and more or better benefits than workers who are not represented by a union.9 Union coverage is higher in the public sector than in the private sector. To the extent that public sector workers can bargain over pay and benefits, greater unionization in the public sector could raise the pay of public sector workers compared to the pay of private sector workers. In the federal government, most employees do not bargain over wages. Salaried employees generally receive an annual pay adjustment and a locality pay adjustment, effective each January. Federal employees who are paid by the hour usually receive pay adjustments equal to those received by salaried workers in the same locality.10 9 Several studies have attempted to measure the difference in earnings between union and nonunion workers. The results vary. In general, however, most studies conclude that, after controlling for individual, occupational, and labor market characteristics, the wages of union workers may be 10% to 30% higher than the wages of nonunion workers. See CRS Report RL32553, Union Membership Trends in the United States, by Gerald Mayer. 10 Although the law has never been implemented as enacted, adjustments to federal white-collar pay are based on the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (FEPCA). See CRS Report RL34463, Federal White-Collar Pay: FY2009 and FY2010 Salary Adjustments, by Barbara L. Schwemle. Also see CRS Report RL33245, Legislative, (continued...) Congressional Research Service 6 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Nevertheless, some federal workers can bargain over wages. The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 (P.L. 91-375) gave postal workers the right to bargain over wages and benefits (excluding retirement benefits).11 Air traffic controllers can bargain over wages because the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is required to recognize a union chosen by a majority of employees, but is allowed to develop its own pay system.12 The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has a longstanding policy that allows employees to bargain over wages.13 Individual, Occupational, and Employer Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers This section of the report examines selected characteristics that may affect the relative pay of private and public sector workers.14 These characteristics include age, gender, educational attainment, and the distribution of employees by occupation. The data are from the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) and the Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement to the CPS. The CPS is a household survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for BLS. The monthly CPS does not include persons on active duty in the military. The ASEC Supplement includes military personnel living in civilian households. The analysis in this section covers the period from 1976 to 2011 and includes both wage and salary workers and self-employed workers. The analysis is for workers ages 18 to 64 who worked full-time. Full-time workers are persons who usually work 35 hours or more a week. In 2011, 81.3% of workers ages 18 to 64 had full-time jobs. More workers in the public sector than in the private sector worked full-time (87.0% and 80.3%, respectively).15 Age Employees in the public sector are older than private sector workers. In 2011, 52.1% of full-time public sector workers were between the ages of 45 and 64, compared to 42.8% of full-time private sector workers (see Figure 6). Federal workers are older than employees of state and local (...continued) Executive, and Judicial Officials: Process for Adjusting Pay and Current Salaries, by Barbara L. Schwemle. 11 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), Comparison of Collectively Bargained and Administratively Set Pay Rates for Federal Employees, GAO/FPCD-82-49, July 2, 1982, p. 10, available at http://archive.gao.gov/d41t14/ 118922.pdf. 12 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), Human Capital: Selected Agencies’ Statutory Authorities Could Offer Options in Developing a Framework for Governmentwide Reform, GAO-05-398R, April 21, 2005, pp. 8, 31-32, available at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05398r.pdf. 13 The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Act of 1933 does not give TVA employees the right to engage in collective bargaining. However, a policy adopted by the TVA in 1935 allows employees to organize and bargain collectively. U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), Labor-Management Relations: Tennessee Valley Authority Situation Needs to Improve, GAO/GGD-91-129, September 1991, p. 13, available at http://archive.gao.gov/d18t9/145065.pdf. 14 For different views on the pay of federal workers, see U.S. Congress, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy, Are Federal Workers Overpaid?, 112th Cong. 1st sess., March 9, 2011, available at http://oversight.house.gov/. 15 CRS analysis of data from the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS). Congressional Research Service 7 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers governments. In 2011, 55.8% of federal workers were between the ages of 45 and 64, compared to 51.9% of state employees and 50.8% of employees of local governments. Although the difference has narrowed since 2001, the age gap between public and private sector workers was greater in 2011 than in 1976. In 1976, 35.5% of public sector workers and 34.1% of private sector workers were between the ages of 45 and 64, a difference of 1.4 percentage points. In 2011, the difference was 9.4 percentage points (after rounding): 52.1% of public sector workers were between the ages of 45 and 64, compared to 42.8% of private sector workers (see Figure 6). Figure 6. Percent of Full-Time Workers Who are Between the Ages of 45 and 64, 1976 to 2011 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% Public 11 20 06 20 01 20 96 19 91 19 86 19 81 19 19 76 0.0% Private Source: CRS analysis of data from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS). Older workers typically have more years of work experience than younger workers. Employees with more work experience generally earn more than workers with less experience.16 Thus, the age difference between private and public sector workers may indicate that public sector workers have more years of experience than private sector workers. In turn, a difference in work experience may be reflected in differences in earnings between private and public sector workers. 16 Within occupations, earnings generally increase with years of experience. Ronald G. Ehrenberg and Robert S. Smith, Modern Labor Economics: Theory and Public Policy, 7th ed. (Reading, MA, Addison-Wesley, 2000), p. 418. Congressional Research Service 8 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Gender Women hold a higher share of jobs in the public sector than in the private sector, and this difference has increased over time. The higher share of jobs held by women in the public sector is due to the higher percentage of jobs held by women in state and local governments. In 2011, women held almost three-fifths of full-time jobs in state and local governments (58.8% for both state and local governments), but approximately two-fifths of full-time jobs in the federal government and in the private sector (40.4% and 41.5%, respectively). The greatest increase in the percentage of jobs held by women has been in state governments. From 1976 to 2011, the share of state jobs held by women increased by 14.8 percentage points (from 44.0% to 58.8%). By contrast, over the same period the share of jobs held by women in local governments increased by 9.9 points (from 48.9% to 58.8%), in the federal government by 8.9 points (from 31.5% to 40.4%), and in the private sector by 9.4 points (from 32.0% to 41.5%, after rounding) (see Figure 7). The effect of the increased employment of women on the difference in pay between private and public sector workers may be an empirical question. The share of jobs held by women in the public sector has increased more than the share of jobs held by women in the private sector.17 On average, women earn less than men. But, evidence indicates that the pay gap between men and women is narrower in the public sector than in the private sector.18 Thus, the greater increase in employment of women in the public sector, where the pay gap between men and women is narrower than in the private sector, should narrow any differences in pay between the private and public sectors. On the other hand, the pay gap between men and women has narrowed, which may affect the relative pay of private and public sector workers.19 17 In 1976, 32.4% of full-time private sector jobs were held by women ages 18 to 64. In the public sector, 43.9% of fulltime jobs were held by women. By 2011, these percentages had increased to 41.5% and 55.2%, respectively—a 9.1point increase in the private sector and a 11.4-point increase (after rounding) in the public sector. CRS analysis of data from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS). 18 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), Women’s Pay: Gender Pay Gap in the Federal Workforce Narrows as Differences in Occupation, Education, and Experience Diminish, GAO-09-279, March 2009, p. 9, available at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09279.pdf. Robert G. Gregory and Jeff Borland, “Recent Developments in Public Sector Labor Markets,” Handbook of Labor Economics, vol. 3C, ed. by Orley Ashenfelter and David Card (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1999), p. 3611. 19 In 2010, the median earnings of women employed full-time, year-round were 77.4% of the median earnings of men who worked full-time, year-round ($36,931 for women and $47,715 for men). This percentage was up from 60.2% in 1976 ($28,219 for women and $46,880 for men). U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010, P60-239, September 2011, Table A-5, available at http://www.census.gov/prod/ 2011pubs/p60-239.pdf. For a discussion of explanations of the differences in earnings by gender, see CRS Report 98278, The Gender Wage Gap and Pay Equity: Is Comparable Worth the Next Step?, by Linda Levine. Congressional Research Service 9 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Figure 7. Percent of Full-Time Workers Who are Female, 1976 to 2011 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% Local State Federal 11 20 05 20 00 20 95 19 90 19 85 19 80 19 19 76 20.0% Private Source: CRS analysis of data from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS). Education On average, public sector employees have more years of education than private sector workers. In 2011, 53.7% of workers in the public sector had a bachelor’s, advanced, or professional degree, compared to 34.0% of private sector workers20 (see Figure 8). State and local government employees are more likely than federal workers to have a bachelor’s, advanced, or professional degree. In 2011, 56.3% of state government workers and 54.5% of local government workers had at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to 47.5% of workers in the federal government (see Figure 9). 20 Advanced degrees include master’s and doctorate degrees. Professional degrees include degrees in law, medicine, and business administration. Congressional Research Service 10 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Figure 8. Percent of Full-Time Workers with a Bachelor’s, Advanced, or Professional Degree, Private and Public Sectors, 1976 to 2011 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% Public 20 11 20 05 20 00 19 95 19 90 19 85 19 80 19 76 0.0% Private Source: CRS analysis of data from the Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS). Notes: Because of changes in 1992 in the way educational attainment is coded in the CPS, data for the years 1992 and later are not comparable to earlier years. The data for the years 1976 to 1991 are for persons who completed 16 or more years of education. The data for the years 1992 to 2011 are for persons who received a bachelor’s, advanced, or professional degree. See the discussion of “CPS Values for Educational Attainment” in the Appendix. Beginning in 1992, the CPS changed the way educational attainment is coded. For years before 1992, the CPS reported the number of years of education that a person completed. In 1992, the CPS began to report whether a person received a degree. Therefore, data for the years 1992 and later are not totally comparable to earlier years. (See the discussion of “CPS Values for Educational Attainment” in the Appendix.) Because of the change in the education variable in the CPS, the percentage point changes in educational attainment discussed in this section are the sum of the percentage point changes over two periods: 1976 to 1991, and 1992 to 2011. From 1976 to 2011, educational attainment improved more in the private sector than in the public sector. From 1976 to 2011, the percentage of private sector workers who completed 16 or more years of education increased by18.8 percentage points. This increase compares to a 15.2-point increase for public workers. The largest gains among public workers were among federal workers, a 25.8-point increase, compared to a 16.1-point increase for state workers and a 10.4point increase for local government workers (see Figure 9). Congressional Research Service 11 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Figure 9. Percent of Full-Time Workers with a Bachelor’s, Advanced, or Professional Degree, by Level of Government, 1976 to 2011 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% Local State 11 20 05 20 00 20 95 19 90 19 19 85 80 19 19 76 0.0% Federal Source: CRS analysis of data from the Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS). Notes: Because of changes in 1992 in the way educational attainment is coded in the CPS, data for the years 1992 and later are not comparable to earlier years. The data for the years 1976 to 1991 are for persons who completed 16 or more years of education. The data for the years 1992 to 2011 are for persons who received a bachelor’s, advanced, or professional degree. See the discussion of “CPS Values for Educational Attainment” in the Appendix. On the other hand, from 1976 to 2011 the percentage of workers with post-graduate education increased more in the public sector than in the private sector. During the period, the percentage of public sector workers with post-graduate education (i.e., who completed more than 16 years of education from 1976 to 1991 or who received an advanced or professional degree from 1992 to 2011) increased by 9.9 points, compared to a 6.3-point increase for private sector workers (see Figure 10). Workers with more education generally earn more than workers with less education.21 Other things being equal, the higher educational attainment of public sector workers, especially workers with an advanced or professional degree, likely affects the relative pay of private and public sector workers. 21 CRS Report R41329, The Rise in Wage Inequality by Level of Education, 1975 to 2008, by Gerald Mayer. Congressional Research Service 12 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Figure 10. Percent of Full-Time Workers with an Advanced or Professional Degree, Private and Public Sectors, 1976 to 2011 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% Public 11 20 05 20 00 20 95 19 90 19 85 19 80 19 19 76 0.0% Private Source: CRS analysis of data from the Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS). Notes: Because of changes in 1992 in the way educational attainment is coded in the CPS, data for the years 1992 and later are not comparable to earlier years. The data for the years 1976 to 1991 are for persons who completed more than 16 years of education. The data for the years 1992 to 2011 are for persons who received an advanced or professional degree. See the discussion of “CPS Values for Educational Attainment” in the Appendix. Occupation The CPS has data on both major and detailed occupational categories. A comparison of private and public sector employment using major occupational categories shows that all major occupations are common in both the private and public sectors. An analysis of detailed occupations, however, shows that many occupations are concentrated in either the private or public sectors. Major Occupations Table 1 shows the distribution of employment in the private and public sectors by five broad occupational categories. These five categories are subdivided into 22 major occupations. The data are for a worker’s occupation at the time of the monthly CPS. The estimates are averages for the 12 months of calendar year 2011. A worker’s occupation at the time of the CPS survey is used in order to identify whether a worker’s job is covered by a collective bargaining agreement. All of the occupations in Table 1 are common in both the private and public sectors. However, a larger share of public sector than private sector workers were employed in “management, professional, and related occupations” (56.3% of public sector workers, compared to 37.1% of Congressional Research Service 13 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers private sector workers).22 More public sector workers are employed in these occupations because 25.5% of all public sector workers were employed in “education, training, and library” occupations, compared to 2.3% of all private sector workers. Public sector employees in these occupations worked mainly for state and local governments (25.0% of employees in state governments and 34.5% of employees in local governments). In general, the median weekly earnings of full-time workers employed in management, professional, and related occupations are greater than the earnings of workers in other occupations.23 A larger percentage of workers in the public sector than the private sector were employed in “protective service” occupations (11.5% and 0.9%, respectively). On the other hand, more workers in the private sector were employed in “sales and related” occupations (11.5% in the private sector and 0.8% in the public sector). Union Coverage by Major Occupation Table 1 also shows the percentage of private and public sector workers in each major occupation who were covered by a collective bargaining agreement. In all major occupations for which data are available (21 of 22 occupations), union coverage was higher in the public sector than in the private sector. In the private sector, 7.5% of all full-time employees were covered by a collective bargaining agreement. But, only 2.5% of management employees and 1.4% of employees in legal occupations were represented by a union. By contrast, 17.6% of workers in education, training, and library occupations; 15.9% of workers in transportation and material moving occupations; 15.7% of workers in construction and extraction occupations; 15.3% of workers in installation, maintenance, and repair occupations; and 14.5% of production workers were represented by a union. In the public sector, 43.3% of full-time employees were covered by a collective bargaining agreement. In management occupations, 25.1% of employees were represented by a union. But, 58.5% of employees in education, training, and library occupations were covered, as were 54.6% of employees in protective service occupations. A majority of employees in the latter two occupations are employed by local governments (see Table A-1). 22 In the CPS, management occupations include executives, managers, and administrators. Supervisors are not covered by the NLRA (29 U.S.C. §152(11)). The FSLMRS does not cover supervisors or managers (5 U.S.C. §7103(a)(2)). These two statutes cover employees who are not supervisors, but who may be classified as managers in the CPS. 23 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Median Weekly Earnings of Full-Time Wage and Salary Workers by Detailed Occupation and Sex, available at http://stats.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat39.pdf. Congressional Research Service 14 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Table 1. Percent of Workers Employed by Sector and Major Occupation and Covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement, 2011 Occupation Total Management, professional, and related Management Business and financial operations Computer and mathematical science Architecture and engineering Life, physical, and social science Community and social service Legal Education, training, and library Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media Healthcare practitioner and technical Service Healthcare support Protective service Food preparation and serving related Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance Personal care and service Sales and office Sales and related Office and administrative support Natural resources, construction, and maintenance Farming, fishing, and forestry Construction and extraction Installation, maintenance, and repair Production, transportation, and material moving Production Transportation and material moving Percent of Workers Employed by Sector and Major Occupation Total 100.0% 40.2% 12.1% 5.1% 3.1% 2.4% 1.0% 1.8% 1.4% 5.9% 1.8% 5.6% 14.2% 2.1% 2.5% 3.7% 3.4% 2.6% 22.4% 9.8% 12.6% 10.5% 0.7% 5.7% 4.1% 12.7% 6.7% 6.0% Private 100.0% 37.1% 12.9% 5.2% 3.2% 2.4% 0.8% 1.3% 1.3% 2.3% 1.9% 5.8% 13.4% 2.2% 0.9% 4.1% 3.4% 2.8% 23.6% 11.5% 12.2% 11.6% 0.8% 6.3% 4.4% 14.3% 7.6% 6.6% Public 100.0% 56.3% 7.9% 4.8% 2.7% 2.0% 2.2% 4.2% 1.7% 25.5% 0.8% 4.6% 18.9% 1.2% 11.5% 1.1% 3.7% 1.4% 15.6% 0.8% 14.8% 5.0% 0.2% 2.5% 2.3% 4.2% 1.5% 2.7% Federal 100.0% 48.5% 10.8% 9.9% 6.1% 5.3% 3.7% 1.6% 2.9% 2.5% 0.8% 5.0% 11.6% 1.1% 7.3% 0.7% 2.0% 0.5% 28.6% 1.3% 27.2% 6.0% 0.5% 1.9% 3.6% 5.3% 1.8% 3.5% State 100.0% 61.9% 8.4% 5.6% 2.8% 1.7% 3.1% 6.2% 1.9% 25.0% 1.2% 5.7% 17.2% 1.8% 9.4% 1.1% 2.9% 2.0% 14.1% 0.7% 13.4% 3.9% 0.2% 2.1% 1.6% 2.9% 1.1% 1.8% Local 100.0% 56.0% 6.5% 2.3% 1.3% 1.0% 1.1% 3.9% 1.1% 34.5% 0.5% 3.8% 22.6% 0.8% 14.3% 1.3% 4.8% 1.3% 11.6% 0.6% 11.0% 5.2% 0.0% 2.9% 2.3% 4.6% 1.6% 3.0% Percent of Workers Covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement Total 13.2% 13.5% 4.8% 6.3% 4.7% 8.2% 13.5% 20.3% 5.7% 45.4% 6.0% 14.1% 14.4% 10.3% 41.2% 5.5% 12.5% 6.4% 8.2% 3.1% 12.2% 16.6% 3.6% 17.5% 17.6% 16.7% 15.3% 18.2% Private 7.5% 5.1% 2.5% 2.6% 1.9% 5.2% 3.6% 6.2% 1.4% 17.6% 4.5% 10.8% 6.0% 8.1% 8.1% 4.5% 7.1% 4.4% 4.2% 2.9% 5.4% 14.6% 2.6% 15.7% 15.3% 15.2% 14.5% 15.9% Public 43.3% 42.9% 25.1% 27.9% 23.0% 27.4% 32.1% 43.7% 23.5% 58.5% 25.7% 35.8% 46.4% 32.2% 54.6% 24.7% 38.8% 28.3% 41.1% 20.6% 42.2% 41.2% n.a. 41.7% 41.5% 44.7% 37.3% 48.7% Federal 34.0% 21.6% 19.6% 25.5% 15.4% 24.3% 15.1% 16.4% 20.9% 17.6% n.a 32.1% 28.2% 27.9% 28.8% n.a 32.2% n.a 54.1% 10.4% 56.3% 39.2% n.a 41.7% 38.3% 45.5% 40.0% 48.4% State 37.3% 36.3% 26.2% 30.4% 27.2% 28.4% 38.2% 38.5% 25.0% 45.5% 22.6% 26.9% 42.7% 28.4% 48.7% 27.1% 38.1% 42.2% 34.7% 41.6% 34.3% 41.4% n.a 44.1% 38.7% 35.5% 30.6% 38.5% Source: CRS analysis of monthly data from the Current Population Survey (CPS). Estimates are monthly averages for 2011. Notes: Table A-1 in the Appendix shows the numbers used to calculate the percentages in Table 1. Following BLS practice, in Table 1 percentages are not shown if the denominator is 35,000 workers or less. These cells are marked as “n.a.,” which means that estimates are not available. Details may not sum to totals due to rounding. CRS-15 Local 50.3% 54.2% 27.6% 28.1% 30.9% 32.5% 42.9% 52.9% 24.5% 65.2% 34.7% 45.6% 51.5% 39.3% 61.7% 25.7% 40.1% 16.1% 33.8% 14.5% 34.8% 42.1% n.a 40.6% 44.7% 47.7% 38.8% 52.5% Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Detailed Occupations Broad occupational categories may not fully distinguish between detailed occupations that are concentrated in either the private or public sectors. The Appendix shows the top 100 occupations, by the number of persons employed full-time, in the private and public sectors. In 2011, the top 100 occupations in the private and public sectors accounted for 75.1% of total full-time employment. In the private sector, the top 100 occupations accounted for 73.3% of all full-time workers. In the public sector, the top 100 occupations accounted for 84.5% of full-time employment. Pay comparisons between the private and public sectors that rely on broad occupational categories may not capture differences in detailed occupations. On the other hand, pay comparisons that use detailed occupations may be difficult if employment in the occupation is concentrated in either the private or public sectors. For example, in 2011 12.9% of full-time jobs in the private sector and 7.9% of full-time jobs in the public sector were in management (see Table 1). But, 96.7% of chief executives worked in the private sector (see Table A-2). Similarly, 99.5% of first-line supervisors of retail sales workers and 96.9% of first-line supervisors of nonretail sales workers were employed in the private sector (see Table A-3). On the other hand, virtually all first-line supervisors of police officers and detectives were employed in the public sector (see Table A-4). On average, chief executives probably earn more, and first-line supervisors probably earn less, than mid-level managers. Whether employed in the private or public sectors, management occupations may require similar skills. Metropolitan Area Figure 11 shows the percentage of private and public sector workers who live in metropolitan areas with populations of 1 million or 5 million or more. The estimates are for a worker’s place of residence at the time of the 2011 ASEC Supplement survey. The cost of living is generally higher in metropolitan than nonmetropolitan areas.24 Thus, earnings across areas may vary because of differences in the cost of living.25 In 2011, private and federal employees were as likely to live in metropolitan areas of 1 million or more (57.5% for private sector workers and 58.6% for federal workers). By contrast, state employees were less likely (40.9%) than private or federal workers to live in areas with 1 million people or more. 24 A metropolitan statistical area (MSA) consists of at least one urban area with a population of 50,000 or more and adjacent communities that have a high degree of economic and social integration. Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Metropolitan Divisions, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, Combined Statistical Areas, New England City and Town Areas, and Combined New England City and Town Areas, OMB Bulletin No. 10-02, December 1, 2009, Appendix, p. 2, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/ default/files/omb/assets/bulletins/b10-02.pdf. 25 Evidence suggests that when wages across areas are adjusted for differences in the cost of living, part of the difference in observed wages across areas is due to differences in the cost of living. J. Michael DuMond, Barry T. Hirsch, and David A Macpherson, “Wage Differentials Across Labor Markets and Workers: Does Cost of Living Matter?” Economic Inquiry, vol. 37, October 1999, pp. 580, 588. Congressional Research Service 16 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers However, private sector workers were more likely than federal workers to live in areas with 5 million or more people. In 2011, 20.8% of private sector workers lived in the largest metropolitan areas, compared to 12.5% of federal workers. On the other hand, employees of local governments were as likely (20.0%) as private sector workers to live in metropolitan areas of 5 million or more people. Figure 11. Percent of Full-Time Employees Who Live in Metropolitan Areas With Populations of 1 Million or 5 Million or More, 2011 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Private Federal 1 Million or more State Local 5 million or more Source: CRS analysis of data from the Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS). Note: Workers who do not live in metropolitan areas of a million or more live in metropolitan areas of less than a million or in nonmetropolitan areas. Congressional Research Service 17 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Appendix. Detailed Data and Description of Data Source and Methodology This appendix provides detailed information on employment and union coverage by occupation in the private and public sectors. It also describes the survey data and methodology used in the report. Table A-1 shows the data used to calculate the percentages shown in Table 1. Congressional Research Service 18 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Table A-1. Number of Workers Employed by Occupation and Covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement, 2011 (in 1,000s) Number of Workers Employed by Occupation and Sector Number of Workers Covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement Occupation Total Private Public Federal State Local Total Private Public Total Management, professional, and related Management Business and financial operations Computer and mathematical science Architecture and engineering Life, physical, and social science Community and social service Legal Education, training, and library Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media Healthcare practitioner and technical Service Healthcare support Protective service Food preparation and serving related Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance Personal care and service Sales and office Sales and related Office and administrative support Natural resources, construction, and maintenance Farming, fishing, and forestry Construction and extraction Installation, maintenance, and repair Production, transportation, and material moving Production Transportation and material moving 106,903 42,929 12,933 5,466 3,348 2,542 1,066 1,880 1,472 6,346 1,879 5,997 15,232 2,193 2,725 3,905 3,659 2,752 23,918 10,459 13,459 11,247 779 6,102 4,366 13,576 7,135 6,442 89,999 33,405 11,598 4,660 2,898 2,203 693 1,174 1,184 2,027 1,750 5,217 12,042 1,993 784 3,714 3,029 2,521 21,284 10,328 10,956 10,406 750 5,680 3,976 12,863 6,883 5,980 16,904 9,524 1,335 806 449 340 373 706 288 4,318 129 780 3,191 199 1,940 191 629 231 2,634 131 2,503 841 28 422 390 714 252 462 3,205 1,556 345 318 196 169 118 53 93 80 25 160 371 36 233 22 65 15 915 43 873 192 15 62 116 171 59 112 5,115 3,164 431 287 144 88 159 320 99 1,281 62 293 880 92 480 56 148 104 723 36 687 201 10 110 81 147 55 92 8,583 4,804 559 201 109 83 96 333 95 2,957 42 328 1,940 71 1,228 113 416 112 997 53 944 447 4 250 193 395 138 257 14,077 5,782 623 346 158 208 144 381 85 2,881 112 844 2,197 225 1,123 214 458 177 1,967 325 1,642 1,863 28 1,066 769 2,269 1,095 1,174 6,761 1,693 288 121 55 115 25 73 17 357 79 564 717 161 64 167 214 111 885 298 586 1,516 20 890 607 1,950 1,001 949 7,316 4,088 335 225 103 93 120 308 68 2,525 33 280 1,480 64 1,059 47 244 65 1,082 27 1,056 347 Source: CRS analysis of monthly data from the Current Population Survey (CPS). Estimates are monthly averages for 2011. Note: Details may not sum to totals because of rounding. CRS-19 Federal 1,089 336 68 81 30 41 18 9 19 14 5 51 104 10 67 3 21 3 495 4 491 75 9 5 176 26 162 44 319 78 94 23 225 54 State Local 1,910 1,148 113 87 39 25 61 123 25 583 14 79 375 26 234 15 57 44 251 15 236 83 3 48 31 52 17 35 4,318 2,604 154 57 34 27 41 176 23 1,928 14 149 1,000 28 758 29 167 18 336 8 329 188 0 102 86 189 54 135 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Table A-2, Table A-3, and Table A-4 show the largest 100 occupations in 2011 in the private and public sectors. The tables show the total number of persons employed, the number of workers employed in the private and public sectors, the percentage of total employment that was in the private sector, and the percentage of workers in the private and public sectors who were covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Table A-2 shows the 56 occupations, among the top 100 in the private and public sectors, that were common in both sectors in 2011. The occupations are listed in descending order of the total number of workers employed. To illustrate, of the 2,690,000 workers employed as “managers, all other,” 2,302,000 were employed in the private sector and 388,000 were employed in the public sector. Of the total number of workers employed as “managers, all other,” 85.6% worked in the private sector. Of the 2,302,000 “managers, all other” employed in the private sector, 2.2% were covered by a collective bargaining agreement, while 20.9% of public sector workers in this occupation were represented by a union. Occupations that are generally common to both the private and public sectors include managers; elementary and middle school teachers; registered nurses; secretaries and administrative assistants; janitors and building cleaners; accountants and auditors; nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides; and managers of office and administrative support workers. A disproportionate share of workers in some occupations are employed in either the private or public sectors. For example, in 18 of the 56 occupations in Table A-2, at least 90.0% of workers were employed in the private sector. These occupations include drivers/sales workers and truck drivers, customer service representatives, cashiers, chief executives, laborers and material movers, cooks, carpenters, financial managers, construction laborers, software developers, stock clerks, and maids and housekeeping cleaners. For other occupations in Table A-2, a disproportionate share of workers were employed in the public sector. For 8 of the 56 occupations, over 25.0% of workers were employed in the public sector. These occupations were mainly in education, but also include social workers, office clerks, and janitors. Table A-3 shows the 44 occupations, among the top 100 occupations in the private sector, that were not present among the top 100 occupations in the public sector. These occupations are listed by the number of workers employed in the private sector. Of the workers employed in these 44 occupations, 97.7% worked in the private sector. These occupations were mainly in sales, food preparation and serving, construction, production, automotive service, real estate, and farming. Table A-4 shows the 44 occupations, among the top 100 occupations in the public sector, that were not present among the top 100 private sector occupations. The occupations are listed by the number employed in the public sector. Of the workers employed in these 44 occupations, 64.4% worked in the public sector. These occupations were mainly in education; public safety (e.g., police officers, correctional officers, fire fighters, and detectives and criminal investigators); the Postal Service; highway maintenance; eligibility interviewers for government programs; and legal occupations (e.g., court, municipal, and license clerks and legal support occupations). Congressional Research Service 20 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Table A-2. Occupations Common to Both the Private and Public Sectors, by Total Number Employed, 2011 Occupation Percent Covered Percentage by a Collective of Total Bargaining Number Employeda Employed in (in 1,000s) Agreement the Private Sector Total Private Public Private Public 1 Managers, all other 2,690 2,302 388 85.6% 2.2% 20.9% 2 Driver/sales workers and truck drivers 2,586 2,494 93 96.4% 12.1% 38.9% 3 Elementary and middle school teachers 2,384 439 1,945 18.4% 31.9% 65.2% 4 Registered nurses 2,110 1,807 303 85.6% 16.9% 36.8% 5 Secretaries and administrative assistants 2,082 1,603 479 77.0% 3.4% 33.9% 6 Customer service representatives 1,482 1,398 84 94.3% 6.0% 32.8% 7 Janitors and building cleaners 1,461 1,040 421 71.2% 11.3% 42.0% 8 Accountants and auditors 1,439 1,261 178 87.6% 1.6% 25.5% 9 Cashiers 1,316 1,276 40 97.0% 6.1% 29.0% 10 Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides 1,287 1,147 140 89.1% 10.4% 33.8% 11 Chief executives 1,270 1,227 42 96.7% 1.4% 7.1% 1,253 1,043 209 83.3% 2.9% 28.6% 1,249 1,198 51 95.9% 15.7% 44.5% 14 Cooks 1,204 1,127 77 93.6% 4.0% 20.9% 15 Carpenters 1,108 1,074 35 96.9% 9.1% 46.3% 16 Financial managers 1,050 969 81 92.3% 2.2% 18.8% 17 Construction laborers 1,016 979 37 96.4% 10.3% 33.9% Software developers, applications and 18 systems software 1,010 944 65 93.5% 1.4% 17.6% 975 939 37 96.2% 8.1% 33.9% 973 776 197 79.8% 1.6% 19.2% 21 General and operations managers 935 837 98 89.5% 3.1% 16.7% 22 Grounds maintenance workers 908 792 116 87.2% 2.6% 35.3% 23 Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks 883 788 95 89.2% 2.2% 30.1% 24 Postsecondary teachers 855 414 441 48.4% 14.6% 32.4% 25 Receptionists and information clerks 838 750 88 89.5% 3.0% 26.4% 26 Maids and housekeeping cleaners 781 731 50 93.6% 8.3% 22.9% 27 Office clerks, general 772 531 241 68.8% 5.0% 36.4% 28 Education administrators 737 362 375 49.1% 10.0% 34.3% Security guards and gaming surveillance 29 officers 728 605 124 83.0% 8.8% 32.1% 30 Physicians and surgeons 704 622 82 88.3% 5.9% 23.9% First-line supervisors/managers of office and administrative support workers Laborers and freight, stock, and material 13 movers, hand 12 19 Stock clerks and order fillers 20 Lawyers, judges, magistrates, and other judicial workers Congressional Research Service 21 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Occupation 31 First-line supervisors/managers of production and operating workers Percent Covered Percentage by a Collective of Total Number Employeda Bargaining Employed in (in 1,000s) Agreement the Private Sector Total Private Public Private Public 671 633 38 94.3% 9.1% 32.1% 32 Social workers 670 356 315 53.0% 8.5% 37.0% 33 Child care workers 618 564 54 91.2% 2.4% 24.9% 34 Electricians 605 563 42 93.0% 31.8% 48.4% 601 563 39 93.6% 8.8% 34.9% 576 528 48 91.7% 13.5% 36.1% 37 Counselors 575 340 235 59.2% 8.1% 53.5% 38 Personal and home care aides 555 453 102 81.6% 6.1% 35.0% Computer and information systems 39 managers 537 474 62 88.4% 2.1% 22.0% 40 Human resources workers 528 417 111 78.9% 8.1% 20.0% 41 Preschool and kindergarten teachers 524 342 182 65.3% 8.5% 54.2% 42 Medical and health services managers 465 422 44 90.6% 5.0% 19.6% 43 Computer support specialists 430 358 73 83.1% 2.8% 27.7% Licensed practical and licensed vocational 44 nurses 416 363 54 87.1% 9.1% 25.0% 45 Computer programmers 415 358 57 86.3% 1.7% 16.9% 46 Other teachers and instructors 403 325 77 80.8% 4.6% 29.1% First-line supervisors/managers of food 47 preparation and serving workers 396 347 49 87.7% 1.8% 23.8% 48 Computer systems analysts 391 343 49 87.6% 2.0% 38.0% 386 310 76 80.2% 4.5% 27.7% 354 275 79 77.6% 32.3% 44.1% 51 Maintenance and repair workers, general 353 278 76 78.6% 11.1% 42.3% 52 Civil engineers 351 265 86 75.6% 2.8% 24.5% 53 Engineering technicians, except drafters 335 277 58 82.6% 11.0% 56.0% 54 Paralegals and legal assistants 331 290 41 87.6% 1.6% 22.8% First-line supervisors/managers of mechanics, 55 installers, and repairers 317 262 56 82.5% 10.3% 27.0% 56 Engineers, all other 315 258 57 81.9% 3.2% 20.5% Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and 35 weighers First-line supervisors/managers of 36 construction trades and extraction workers Office and administrative support workers, all other Operating engineers and other construction 50 equipment operators 49 Source: CRS analysis of data from the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) for 2011. a. Occupations are listed in descending order by the sum of persons employed in the private and public sectors. Congressional Research Service 22 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Table A-3. Occupations More Common in the Private Sector, by Number Employed in the Private Sector, 2011 Number Employeda (in 1,000s) Percentage of Total Employed in the Private Sector Percent Covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement Occupation Total Private Public First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales 1 workers 2,740 2,727 13 99.5% 3.5% 1,827 1,814 13 99.3% 2.0% 1,131 1,129 2 99.8% 2.2% 952 923 29 96.9% 1.5% 5 Marketing and sales managers 902 887 15 98.3% 0.9% 6 Food service managers 899 878 21 97.7% 1.3% 7 Waiters and waitresses 861 857 5 99.5% 2.6% 8 Construction managers 803 782 21 97.4% 4.4% 9 Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators Automotive service technicians and 10 mechanics 756 750 6 99.2% 17.7% 732 717 15 97.9% 4.5% 11 Production workers, all other 639 618 21 96.7% 15.6% 12 Designers 583 568 15 97.5% 3.1% 13 Real estate brokers and sales agents Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural 14 managers 568 556 12 97.9% 2.3% 549 547 2 99.6% 0.0% 15 Management analysts 571 539 32 94.5% 1.1% 16 Miscellaneous agricultural workers 539 534 5 99.1% 1.4% 17 Industrial truck and tractor operators 482 474 9 98.2% 17.6% 18 Welding, soldering, and brazing workers 475 468 8 98.4% 18.1% 19 Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and 20 steamfitters 469 461 8 98.2% 9.6% 483 457 26 94.6% 24.8% 21 Insurance sales agents 460 456 4 99.1% 1.1% 22 Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists 429 427 2 99.6% 1.7% 23 Sales representatives, services, all other Industrial and refractory machinery 24 mechanics 412 407 4 98.9% 1.5% 2 Retail salespersons Sales representatives, wholesale and 3 manufacturing First-line supervisors/managers of non-retail 4 sales workers 421 402 19 95.5% 20.1% 25 Machinists Property, real estate, and community 26 association managers 390 379 11 97.2% 16.2% 397 377 20 95.0% 2.4% 27 Painters, construction and maintenance Billing and posting clerks and machine 28 operators 388 377 11 97.1% 6.9% 394 370 25 93.7% 3.5% Congressional Research Service 23 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Number Employeda (in 1,000s) Occupation Total Private Public Percentage of Total Employed in the Private Sector Percent Covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement 29 Metalworkers and plastic workers, all other Health practitioner support technologists and 30 technicians 355 354 1 99.8% 14.7% 371 339 32 91.4% 9.6% 31 Food preparation workers 352 336 16 95.5% 7.3% 32 Clergy 311 310 1 99.7% 1.9% 33 Personal financial advisors Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration 34 mechanics and installers 318 308 10 96.9% 1.7% 323 298 25 92.2% 14.4% 35 Chefs and head cooks 306 297 9 97.0% 2.4% 36 Medical assistants 311 292 19 93.9% 4.5% 37 Packers and packagers, hand 295 290 5 98.4% 8.8% 38 Loan counselors and officers Butchers and other meat, poultry, and fish 39 processing workers 304 279 25 91.9% 0.4% 279 279 0 100.0% 25.4% 40 Mechanical engineers 303 278 26 91.6% 6.3% 41 Tellers 272 268 4 98.5% 1.6% 42 Electrical and electronic engineers 286 261 25 91.3% 4.7% 43 Taxi drivers and chauffeurs Packaging and filling machine operators and 44 tenders 264 253 11 95.9% 7.4% 252 252 0 99.9% 20.7% Source: CRS analysis of data from the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) for 2011. a. Occupations are listed in descending order by the number employed in the private sector. Congressional Research Service 24 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Table A-4. Occupations More Common in the Public Sector, by the Number Employed in the Public Sector, 2011 Number Employeda (in 1,000s) Occupation 1 Secondary school teachers 2 Police and sheriff’s patrol officers 3 Bailiffs, correctional officers, and jailers 4 Teacher assistants 5 Special education teachers 6 Postal service mail carriers 7 Fire fighters 8 Bus drivers 9 Detectives and criminal investigators 10 Postal service clerks First-line supervisors/managers of police and 11 detectives 12 Librarians 13 Compliance officers 14 Dispatchers Probation officers and correctional treatment 15 specialists 16 File Clerks 17 Highway maintenance workers 18 Court, municipal, and license clerks 19 Eligibility interviewers, government programs 20 Psychologists Total Private Public Percentage of Total Employed in the Public Sector Percent Covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement 978 172 807 82.5% 69.6% 644 0 644 100.0% 65.0% 429 0 429 100.0% 44.4% 579 179 400 69.1% 40.6% 354 58 296 83.6% 69.7% 294 0 294 100.0% 81.2% 290 1 289 99.7% 70.5% 288 140 148 51.4% 54.8% 142 5 137 96.7% 55.3% 123 0 123 100.0% 80.3% 99 0 99 100.0% 52.3% 127 37 90 70.5% 33.0% 172 85 86 50.2% 32.7% 202 119 83 41.3% 37.4% 84 1 83 98.7% 48.6% 237 155 82 34.5% 42.6% 94 19 74 79.5% 39.7% 74 5 69 92.8% 35.1% 77 11 66 85.8% 38.3% 125 61 65 51.6% 48.4% 21 Computer occupations, all other 22 Business operations specialists, all other Tax examiners, collectors, and revenue 23 agents Water and liquid waste treatment plant and 24 system operators Other education, training, and library 25 workers Purchasing agents, except wholesale, retail, 26 and farm products Postal service mail sorters, processors, and 27 processing machine operators 28 Biological scientists 281 218 63 22.3% 27.3% 229 167 63 27.3% 26.8% 65 4 62 94.1% 53.4% 75 18 58 76.6% 32.3% 92 35 56 61.4% 45.1% 226 170 56 24.9% 34.8% 55 0 55 100.0% 79.2% 103 53 50 48.4% 33.7% 29 Social and human service assistants 30 Data entry keyers Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine 31 specialists 32 Speech-language pathologists 101 51 50 49.1% 30.8% 275 225 50 18.1% 24.5% 293 244 49 16.7% 44.5% 92 43 49 52.8% 64.9% 164 117 47 28.7% 42.4% 33 Miscellaneous legal support workers Congressional Research Service 25 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Number Employeda (in 1,000s) Occupation 34 Operations research analysts Emergency medical technicians and 35 paramedics 36 Word processors and typists 37 Payroll and timekeeping clerks First-line supervisors/managers of 38 correctional officers 39 Construction and building inspectors 40 Environmental scientists and geoscientists Miscellaneous life, physical, and social science 41 technicians First-line supervisors/managers of fire fighting 42 and prevention workers 43 Private detectives and investigators 44 Physical scientists, all other Total Private Public Percentage of Total Employed in the Public Sector Percent Covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement 116 71 45 38.7% 19.7% 167 123 44 26.3% 46.2% 101 59 43 42.2% 49.1% 136 95 42 30.4% 37.3% 40 0 40 100.0% 28.5% 63 24 39 61.4% 22.7% 86 48 39 44.8% 45.7% 115 77 38 33.3% 31.1% 40 2 38 94.8% 66.0% 92 56 36 38.9% 29.5% 135 100 35 26.0% 17.8% Source: CRS analysis of data from the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) for 2011. a. Occupations are listed in descending order by the number employed in the public sector. Data and Methodology This report analyzes data from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey and the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CES is an employer survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The CES survey counts the number of persons on employer payrolls for any part of the pay period that includes the 12th day of the month. Persons who are on the payroll of more than one establishment are counted in each establishment. Government employment includes civilian employees only; persons in the military are not included. Also excluded are employees of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency.26 The CPS is a household survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for BLS. The monthly CPS is the source of the national unemployment rate and other labor market information. The survey is representative of the civilian noninstitutional population. The sample does not include persons living in institutions (such as psychiatric hospitals, nursing homes, or correctional facilities). The monthly survey does not include individuals who are on active duty in the military.27 Approximately 50,000 households are interviewed each month.28 The data for occupations and union coverage (Table 1 in the text and the tables in the Appendix) are from the monthly CPS. 26 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics, available at http://stats.bls.gov/ces/home.htm. 27 Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Labor Force Data Derived from the Current Population Survey,” Handbook of Methods, pp. 1-2, available at http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch1.pdf. 28 U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), available at http://www.census.gov/cps/. Congressional Research Service 26 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Each year, the CPS conducts the Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement to the monthly CPS. The sample for the ASEC Supplement is representative of the civilian noninstitutional population of the United States. The sample for the supplement includes members of the Armed Forces living in civilian housing units on a military base or in a household not on a military base. For the 2011 supplement, 75,900 households were interviewed.29 In this report, data on the characteristics of private and public sector workers are from the ASEC Supplement. The supplement collects information on the longest job a worker held during the previous year. This report uses information on the longest job a worker held during the previous year because, for their current job, the monthly CPS did not begin to separate public sector employees into federal, state, and local government workers until 1988. Changes in the Reporting of Educational Attainment in the Current Population Survey (CPS) In 1992, the CPS changed the way educational attainment is recorded. Table A-3 shows the values for educational attainment for the years 1975 to 1991 and the values for 1992 to 2011. For 1976 to 1991, the CPS recorded the number of years of school that a person attended. Another variable recorded whether the person finished that year of school. Since 1992, the CPS has reported whether a person graduated from high school or college. Because of the change in the way the CPS records educational attainment, estimates of the number of high school and college graduates for the years 1992 to 2011 are not comparable to estimates for earlier years. For the earlier period, persons who completed 12 years of high school may or may not have graduated from high school. Similarly, persons who finished 16 or more years of education may or may not have received a bachelor’s, advanced, or professional degree. Because of the change in coding for educational attainment, changes in educational attainment discussed in this report are the sum of changes over two periods: 1976 to 1991 and 1992 to 2011. 29 U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2011 Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement, pp. 1-1, 93, G-3, available at http://www.census.gov/apsd/techdoc/cps/cpsmar11.pdf. Congressional Research Service 27 Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers Table A-5. Values for the Education Variable in the Current Population Survey (CPS), 1976 to 2011 1976 to 1991 Elementary school, 1 year 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade 1992 to 2011 Elementary school, 2 year 5th or 6th grade Elementary school, 3 year 7th and 8th grade Elementary school, 4 year 9th grade Elementary school, 5 year 10th grade Elementary school, 6 year 11th grade Elementary school, 7 year 12th grade no diploma Elementary school, 8 year High school graduate (high school diploma or equivalent) High school, 1 year Some college but no degree High school, 2 year Associate degree in college (occupation or vocation program) High school, 3 year Associate degree in college (academic program) High school, 4 year Bachelor’s degree (e.g., BA or BS) College, 1 year Master’s degree (e.g., MA, MS, MSW, or MBA) College, 2 year Professional school degree (e.g., MD, DDS, DVM, JD) College, 3 year Doctorate degree College, 4 year College, 5 year College, 6 years or more Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey, March 1992, Technical Documentation CPS-92-3, September 1992, p. 5-1. Author Contact Information Gerald Mayer Analyst in Labor Policy gmayer@crs.loc.gov, 7-7815 Congressional Research Service 28