Unexpectedly Intriguing!
July 24, 2013

Yesterday, as part of our look at the distribution of income for U.S. federal government employees in 2011, we compared them with the distribution of incomes earned by all individual American income earners. But is that really a good comparison?

If we're talking about major contributors to the level of income inequality in the United States, the answer is clearly yes. But then, that includes everyone from widows drawing Social Security survivors benefits and people who only work part time during the course of the year. One thing we reported in our previous analysis is that roughly 95% of the 2,221,780 civilian, non-postal service members of the U.S. federal government workforce work full-time, all year-round.

So, if we want to get a better sense of how the distribution of income for U.S. federal government employees compares to U.S. individual income earners, we should compare them with the portion of the U.S. population who is employed in full-time jobs, all year round.

And that's exactly what we've done in the following chart!:

Income Distribution of Full-Time, Year-Round U.S. Individual Income Earners and U.S. Federal Government Employees, 2011

In our chart, we find that the median income earned by a U.S. individual in 2011 who works full-time, all year-round is $44,934, some $22,040 less than the median income earned by U.S. federal government employees.

Meanwhile, the average income earned by a U.S. individual in 2011 was $59,804, which is $14,632 less than the average income of $74,436 earned by U.S. federal government employees.

So, once again, we find that the pay of U.S. federal government employees are strongly skewed to the upper end of the income spectrum of the United States.

But then, that only considers the cash portion of their compensation. In the next part of our analysis, we'll factor in the value of the benefits that each receive!


Asbury Park Press. Federal Employees, 2011. [Online Database]. Accessed 28 June 2013

U.S. Census Bureau. Current Population Survey. Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement. Table PINC-01. Selected Characteristics of People 15 Years and Over, by Total Money Income in 2011, Work Experience in 2011. Race, Hispanic Origin, and Sex: Worked Full-Time, Year-Round, Both Sexes, All Races. [Excel Spreadsheet]. Accessed 28 June 2013

Previously on Political Calculations


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