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Poll: Americans Think Federal Workers Overpaid, Underqualified

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A majority of Americans say they believe federal workers are overpaid, and a third of Americans say they think federal workers are underqualified compared to their counterparts in the private sector, according to a new Washington Post poll.

The gloomy portrait of federal workers comes as anti-Washington sentiment, which often turns on the view the government has grown too large, has many predicting an anti-incumbent wave in the midterm congressional elections in November.

There are glimmers of hope for civil servants, who number about 1.9 million, though. The Post reports the numbers are split by a partisan divide. Overall, while 52 percent of total respondents took a dim view of federal workers, more Democrats than Republicans had a positive view.

And, according to The Post, younger respondents were more likely than older to have a favorable view of civil servants.

The Post describes the federal workforce as “a highly educated, largely unionized group whose pay is based on experience and what similar jobs in the private sector fetch.”

But the paper also noted the government “says it is hard to compare average public and private salaries, since so many jobs outside government are in low-paying service industries, whereas government workers tend to be more skilled.”

Just last Friday, President Barack Obama said federal agencies might decide to leave vacancies within departments to save money. Obama said he wanted to avoid furloughs or lay-offs.

On the issue of federal pay, Obama said high-skilled workers in government were underpaid and lower-skilled workers were overpaid, according to a report on FederalNewsRadio.com.

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