While any work environment can expect its share of indolent staff members, evidence continues to suggest that employees in the private sector are, as a whole, more dependable.
In addition to government employees earning a disproportionately higher income than their counterparts in the real world, a Bureau of Labor Statistics study indicates that they are also less likely to report to work.
Public-sector workers are absent from their job for personal reasons almost 40 percent more often than those in the typical business environment, the bureau found, leading to about 50 percent more lost work time overall.
The BLS released information detailing how the study was conducted, indicating that when “an employed wage and salary worker who usually works 35 hours per week is reported as having worked fewer than 35 hourse during the survey reference week …, a question is asked as to why he or she worked fewer than 35 hours.”
Based on those responses, individuals “whose reasons for missing work include their own illness or other personal reasons … are counted as having had an absence.”
Issues such as inclement weather, vacation, or strikes do not constitute an absence.
Unfortunately, it can be exceptionally difficult to remove an underperforming public employee in many instances, leading to the somewhat founded impression that dedication and hard work are not prerequisites for a government career.
In the business world, however, frequent absences are generally not tolerated; and employees who miss too much work find themselves out of a job.
The difference, of course, is that the private sector relies on profit to continue operation while the federal government is blatantly unconcerned with financial responsibility.
–Western Journalism staff writer
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