Study Finds Private/Public Divide Hits NE Public Employees Especially Hard!

The wage gap becomes more significant at higher-paid professional levels. The lowest paid government workers do earn slightly more than their private counterparts (in other words, the state tends to pay its lowest-wage workers better than, for example, Wal-Mart does), but for engineers, professors, and the like, the wage penalty for working for a "New England state or local governments rises to almost 13%. These wage differences are also found across workers with different levels of education: high school graduates in the state and local sector in New England, for example, have a small wage premium (less than 2%) relative to the private sector, while those with bachelor’s degrees experience a wage penalty of 7%."