State workers now earn an average £62 a week more than their private sector counterparts - a 50 per cent increase in the differential since 2004.
It comes at a time when public sector employment is rising while private workers are losing their jobs at a rate of more than 1,000 a day.
In 2004, estimated median public sector earnings - those in the middle range of pay - were £452 a week, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.
Private sector median earnings were £410 a week, £42 less.
The difference remained roughly the same between 1997, when Labour came to power, and 2004. But last year the public sector level was £522, against £460 for private employees. It will be a tough one to manage politically, but - for the sake of economic growth, as well as for the public finances - the next government will need to somehow limit the incentives to chose public above private. Any ideas, CoffeeHousers?