If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Most Still Think Government Workers Better Off Than Those in Private Sector

Most Americans nationwide continue to believe that government workers get more pay and better job security but don’t work as hard as their counterparts in the private sector.

Two-out-of-three American Adults (66%), in fact, think those who work in the private sector work harder than government workers. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 13% disagree, while 21% more are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Even most government workers (52%) say private company employees work harder than they do. Eighty-two percent (82%) of Americans who work for private companies agree.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of all adults believe the average government worker earns more money annually than the average private sector worker. Twenty-five percent (25%) don’t believe government workers earn more, while 19% are not sure.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) believe government workers have more job security than their private sector counterparts. Only eight percent (8%) think government workers have less job security than those in the private sector. Sixteen percent (16%) say the two are about the same. 

The findings for all three questions are little changed from June and consistent with surveys since December 2009.

(Want a free daily e-mail update ? If it's in the news, it's in our polls).  Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on October 1-2, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Want to read more?

Become a Rasmussen Reader to read the article

Have an account?

Log In

Become a Reader


Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.