This article from USA Today is about how the gap between public and private employees in terms of benefits has grown larger.
Overall, total compensation for state and local workers was $39.25 an hour — $11.90 more than in private business. In 2007, the gap in wages and benefits was $11.31. … A full-time government worker receives benefits worth an average of $27,830 per year. A private worker’s benefits are worth $16,598.
Government continues to not be as vulnerable to downturns in the economy. The main reason: governments don’t have to make a profit. It reminds of me one of my favorite quotes from Dan Aykroyd in the movie Ghostbusters (shortly after his character was fired from a public university) : “I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect results!”