As you can read at the end of this post on infrastructure employment and payroll, based on the 2017 Census of Governments…
The mean earnings (including benefits) of metro New York private sector workers (including the self-employed, excluding Wall Street) was 21.4% above the U.S. average in 2017. As of March 2017, however, the mean payroll per NYC FTE local government Solid Waste Management worker was 73.0% above the U.S. average. Multiplied by 12 it equaled $92,912 per FTE, well above (for example) the mean payroll per private sector worker in the NY metro area Construction sector.
Well, OK. Picking up the trash is a tough job, and New Yorkers might want their neighbors to be well paid for doing it.
But the NYC Department of Sanitation also had four times as many employees per 100,000 residents as the U.S. average, even though NYC’s private solid waste collection employment was nearly at the U.S. average by the same measure. Meaning the average NYC sanitation worker is not only better paid than the vast majority of NYC’s workers, but also doing much less work than the average sanitation worker in the U.S.
I’ve tried to come up with some explanation for this, other than New Yorkers once again being ripped off by those working the system, for what now amounts to decades. Does the number employed on street sweepers explain the difference? Nope, not nearly enough of them. How about the fact that NYC staffs its own landfills? Not anymore, they are closed.
Now I have a new possible explanation – and a new proposed solution. One can find it in the title.Continue reading