President Barack Obama officially raised locality pay for federal employees by 0.6 percent, effective Jan. 1.
The increase couples with the 1 percent across-the-board pay raise for all federal employees to equal the 1.6 percent of basic payroll requested in the 2017 budget. This was part of Obama’s alternative plan to head off much higher automatic raises.
“Under current law, locality pay increases averaging 28.49 percent and costing $26 billion would go into effect in January 2017. Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” Obama said in a Nov. 29 order.
The order noted the three-year pay freeze feds operated under until January 2014, and that subsequent raises have been lower than those in the private sector or General Schedule statutory formulas. Federal employees, on average, earn about 34.07 percent less than their counterparts in the private sector, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Office of Personnel Management. That’s down slightly from the previous year’s 34.92 percent.