Using 'average' data for Hill's salaries is misleading

Jul 11 2013 - 3:06pm


In its "Our View" of July 11, "Furloughs come to Hill," the paper states that the "average" salary of the base workers is $67,500. Having worked a the base for many decades, I often checked the average salaries and the "mean" salary has never been anywhere near that level.  

The "median" salary could well be in that area.  While the median number in a set (taking the highest and the lowest salary then dividing by two) can be called an "average," doing so is very misleading since the overwhelming majority of the employees fall below that level. The mean number, (adding all the salaries, then dividing by the number of people involved) is what people usually accept as the true average and it is way below the median number.

It would be nice if the paper would check its sources and see which definition of average was used since it causes conflict when taxpayers believe that government employees are paid highly-inflated salaries.

John Fritschle, Sr.

Soda Springs, Idaho



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