Have you ever wondered how your salary and benefits match up with those of other professions? The Bureau of Economic Analysis tracks such information, and the folks at the Cato Institute have put it in the following, easy-to-understand chart.

One of the most profitable industries in which to be employed? The federal government.

“Federal civilian workers had an average wage of $84,153 in 2014, compared to an average in the private sector of $56,350. The federal advantage in overall compensation (wages plus benefits) is even greater. Federal compensation averaged $119,934 in 2014, which was 78 percent higher than the private-sector average of $67,246.”

While there are many hard-working employees in the federal government who should certainly be paid a decent wage for their services, does it seem perhaps that federal compensation is a bit… well… on the generous side? Put another way, should the federal government be more frugal with taxpayers’ money, particularly in an era of massive national debt?

“Public service is entitled to a suitable reward. But there is a distinct limit to the amount of public service we can profitably employ. We require national defense, but it must be limited. We need public improvements, but they must be gradual. We have to make some capital investments, but they must be certain to give fair returns. Every dollar expended must be made in the light of all our national resources, and all our national needs.” – Calvin Coolidge, 1924

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