Employee Attitudes Toward Benefit Packaging: The Job Sector Dilemma

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Increasingly, public sector organizations are creating flexible and innovative benefit packages to augment low salaries. While it is commonly perceived that the public sector has had an edge in benefit packaging, little research has been done to determine the level of importance that employees assign to various benefits and to the putative differences existing between the public and private job sectors. Using survey data from a sample of employees from public and private sector organizations in El Paso, the authors explore the perceptions public sector and private sector employees hold about the importance of various benefits in a compensation package. In contrast to conventional wisdom, the perceived importance of different benefits does not differ dramatically between public and private sector employees in this study, though some differences are notable for merit or incentive benefits and convenience benefits