According to the report, [c]ompensation per state government employee averaged $69,500 - 23 percent more than a private sector worker's average of $56,500. Compensation for a local government employee averaged $63,100, which is 12 percent more than a comparable private sector worker, according to the report. Cox said the report relies on the most recent data available, which is from 2008.
During a conference call Tuesday, Cox said a large portion of the difference in compensation is due to employer paid benefits, which were more than 1 1/2 times that of private employees.
Cox said with an estimated $80 t0 $200 billion underfunded pension system, the data likely understates the difference between government and private employee compensation.
The report states that government employee compensation has been increasing faster than in the private sector. Cox said between 1993 and 2008, full-time state employee compensation rose $11,700 relative to private employee compensation and local government employee compensation rose $4,800 compared to the private sector.
Cox said the report attempts to bring two needed changes to light: the need for parity in pay between the public and private sector and the need to recognize the cost of a defined- benefits pension package, which he said has mostly disappeared in the private sector.
Cox said the current system of compensation for public employees is not sustainable.
"We are facing a crisis of just incomprehensible proportions."