Does Mortality Differ Between Public and Private Sector Workers?


The brief’s key findings are:

  • In projecting pension costs, state and local plans assume their workers will live longer than private sector workers. Is this assumption accurate and, if so, why?
  • The analysis confirms that public sector workers – particularly women – have lower mortality rates than their private sector counterparts.
  • The question is whether lower mortality reflects the nature of the job or the nature of the workers.
  • The answer is the workers – specifically their education levels.  Controlling for education, the gap between public and private workers disappears.