Biden finalizes 2024 federal pay raise for civilian employees

President Joe Biden signed an executive order implementing an average 5.2% federal pay raise for most civilian employees in 2024, the final step needed to make ...

Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Friday, Dec. 22 at 9:54 a.m. after the Office of Personnel Management published the General Schedule pay tables Thursday night.

Civilian federal employees are officially set to receive a sizeable pay raise in 2024 after President Joe Biden signed an executive order implementing the increases on Thursday.

As expected, most General Schedule employees will receive an average of a 5.2% boost to their pay, which will take effect in the first full pay period in January.

Biden made plans for the 5.2% raise official in August, after first including it in the fiscal 2024 budget proposal in March. It’s the largest year-over-year raise for federal employees in more than four decades and follows a 4.6% raise that kicked in for 2023.

Military members are also set to receive a 5.2% raise starting in January through the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

For civilian employees, Biden’s signing of the executive order was the final step of the process to make the federal pay raise official. Although Congress has, in some past years, occasionally legislated its own separate federal pay raise proposal, it was not included in any legislation this year ahead of the Dec. 31 deadline for Biden to sign the executive order.

Importantly, the 5.2% figure for the 2024 federal pay raise is an average. Depending on where federal employees are located, the actual raise they’ll see in the new year will be slightly above or below that.

The Office of Personnel Management published the 2024 pay tables Thursday night, specifying the exact amount of the increases for each locality pay area. Federal News Network compiled the actual raise amounts.

The variation in pay based on locality pay areas stems from the 1990 Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act (FEPCA), which attempted to mitigate a growing wage gap between federal and private sector employees. Over the last year, federal employees earned on average 27.54% less in wages than their private sector counterparts, according to a report from the Federal Salary Council.

Federal News Network has detailed more of the intricacies of locality pay in this story, which also shows how federal employees can calculate their own raises.

Additionally, for 2024, about 33,300 civilian federal employees will see even larger pay raises due to the creation of four new locality pay areas, as well as the expansion of a few already-existing areas.

The four new locality pay areas for 2024 are:

  • Fresno-Madera-Hanford, California
  • Reno-Fernley, Nevada
  • Rochester-Batavia-Seneca Falls, New York
  • Spokane-Spokane Valley-Coeur d’Alene, Washington-Idaho

OPM will also detail on its website the specific counties where employees will be affected by the locality pay changes.


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