Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

May 1996

The public-private debate: what do the data show?

Michael A. Miller

Although the average wage is higher for workers in State and local governments, professional and administrative workers typically earn more in the private sector. This article examines the current literature and then uses occupational pay data from the BLS Occupational Compensation Survey Program (OCSP)to compare wages and salaries in State and local governments with pay in nonfarm private industry.

Download PDF »