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  • Even Government Employees Think Private Sector Works Harder

    The polling firm Rasmussen offers some interesting data on the work effort of government employees compared to private-sector workers.

    In five separate surveys this past year, Rasmussen asked a representative sample of American adults, “Who works harder?” The choices were government workers, private-sector employees, and “not sure.”

    The table below averages the responses from all five surveys in order to make the results more robust. Respondents who were private-sector employees stated overwhelmingly (74 percent to 4 percent, with 22 percent not sure) that the private sector works harder.

    More interestingly, however, a plurality of government employees themselves (48 percent to 21 percent, with 31 percent not sure) agree that the private sector works harder. (continued below)

    Although polls like these can verify only Americans’ perception that the private sector works harder, the fact that even government employees seem to share that perception suggests that there is some truth to it.

    The Rasmussen findings complement a recent Heritage Foundation report showing that government employees spend less time working than private-sector employees—about one month less per year on average.

    That report uses an objective and comprehensive dataset called the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), which tracks exactly what respondents are doing for an entire 24-hour period. The report includes the caveat that the ATUS measures work time—not necessarily work effort or work effectiveness—so the Rasmussen result on who appears to work harder helps to fill out the picture a little more.

    We discussed the findings of our ATUS analysis in an op-ed in last Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Even Government Employees Think Private Sector Works Harder

    1. Bobbie says:

      people working in government should be in the private sector anyway. America needs more people free to develop their potential in society to grow the market place. Government provides brainless jobs just to call it employment without accountabilities if there is or isn't any which means they're worthless yet consequential to America's innocent just the same.

      Americans building personal reliance builds America's strength in character and power to the people to stand on their own, denying mom and dad government control! and their government regulations jobs at tax payers, consumers and business owners expense.

    2. Alfrom Fl says:

      As always, it depends. Gov't consists of many different types of jobs from professional to janitors etc. However, in general, the polls are correct, if for no other reason than gov't by its nature tends to stiflyl enthusiasm and initiative.

    3. Doug says:

      I've been both a government employee and a private sector employee. It is no contest: government jobs are easier and less challenging compared to private sector jobs. I worked for the government for about 2 years and finally could not stand it anymore and went back to a real job. The "good" thing about government jobs are that there is an extremely low possibility of getting laid off or fired, even for slackers.

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