IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/crr/issbrf/ibslp31.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Public Sector Workers and Job Security

Author

Listed:
  • Alicia H. Munnell
  • Rebecca Cannon Fraenkel

Abstract

One issue that comes up in discussions of compensation of state/local workers is their job security relative to that of workers in the private sector. Several questions arise in this regard. How much more secure are public sector jobs? Has their relative security declined in the Great Recession? Do different types of public sector workers fare differently? And how should greater job security be incorporated in the calculus of relative compensation? This brief addresses these issues. The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section presents data on the employment of state/local workers and private sector workers over the last three business cycles. It indicates that, despite declines in employment that have not yet fully abated, state/local workers fared somewhat better relative to private sector workers during this recession than in the past. The second section presents regression results on the relative job layoff experience of state/local workers between 1990-2007 and 2008-12, which quantifies the difference in job security between state/local workers and private sector workers in the two periods. The third section looks at teachers, non-teacher state workers, and non-teacher local workers separately to see how their employment levels have varied over time. At first, it looks like teachers fared better than non-teachers, but the regression analysis, which focuses on layoffs and controls for education, shows that teachers have no more job security than other public employees. The fourth section briefly discusses alternative ways of thinking about job security in the context of relative compensation considerations. The final section concludes that – due to the nature of the public sector – state/local workers have historically had greater job security than private sector workers, and that relationship continued through the Great Recession. Some argue that job security should be quantified and added to comparisons of public and private compensation. Our view is that while job security is attractive, other non-monetary factors make public sector jobs less attractive. Even if these negative factors are ignored, however, estimates of the value of job security suggest that it is not large enough to overturn the conclusion that state/local and private sector workers receive about the same compensation.

Suggested Citation

  • Alicia H. Munnell & Rebecca Cannon Fraenkel, 2013. "Public Sector Workers and Job Security," Issues in Brief ibslp31, Center for Retirement Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:crr:issbrf:ibslp31
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://crr.bc.edu/briefs/public-sector-workers-and-job-security/
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Muneer Mohamed Imhmed Abuazoom & Hanizun Bin Hanafi & Zul Zakiyuddin Bin Ahmad, 2017. "Influence of HRM Practices on Project Performance: Conceptual Framework," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 7(3), pages 47-54, March.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:crr:issbrf:ibslp31. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Amy Grzybowski) or (Christopher F Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/crrbcus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.