Click here: Government employees salaries are 14.2 percent higher than private-sector workers and 6.1 percent higher than the self-employed. Government workers have the highest median earnings at $53,435, higher than both private sector workers and the self-employed. Private sector worker median earnings were $46,797. Self-employed median earnings were $50,383. The median earnings of state and local government workers ($51,202) were higher than the median earnings in any of the four categories of private-industry and self-employed workers. But federal government workers had the highest median earnings of all ($66,028).