Average private sector wages in the United States rose 3.0 percent in 2011, which was more than the 1.2 percent average increase for federal government workers. This was the second year in a row that average private pay rose faster than average federal pay, but that comes after many years of an escalating federal pay advantage.
As part of the payroll tax bill on Friday, Congress voted to tweak federal worker benefits. New federal hires will be required to make an additional contribution to their pension plans. While just a small change, federal worker unions railed against the bill as if were armageddon.