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If you’re looking for a fat paycheck, you may want to try working in the public sector.

According to a study byUSA Today, the average salary for federal employees is now about twice the amount that their counterparts in the private sector earn. As of 2009, federal workers earned $123,049 on average, while private workers earned just $61,051.

“Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row,” USA Today reports. This has resulted in a significantly increased gap in pay.

In fact, the data also shows that even state and local government employees are earning more than private workers, with an average salary of $69,913. Part of this, according to experts interviewed by USA Today, is due to the fact that both state and federal employers are hiring workers with more skill and experience.

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As it turns out, the government announced in May that it is looking to speed up their hiring process to fill thousands of open positions in the coming months. For those interested in joining the public sector, check out our roundup of the coolest sounding, best paying government jobs.

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