Total compensation costs for state and local government workers averaged $41.94 an hour in December, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That figure compares with average compensation of $28.98 for workers in private-sector jobs. When you mix public and private employers, average compensation is $30.84 an hour, according to the report. In the private sector, wages and salaries accounted for slightly more than 70 percent of total compensation, with benefits such as health insurance, pension and savings programs and paid leave taking up the balance. Public employers paid 65 percent of compensation in wages and salaries and 35 percent in benefits.