Biden Enacts 5.2 Percent Pay Hike for Federal Workers

By Jim Thomas – December 22, 2023

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Thursday to implement a pay raise for civilian federal workers in the upcoming year. The approved measure solidifies a 5.2% average increase, marking the most significant pay raise for federal employees in over four decades, according to Government Executive.

The raise, outlined in Biden’s fiscal 2024 budget proposal from March, comprises a 4.7% across-the-board boost to basic pay and an additional average 0.5% increase in locality pay.

Simultaneously, the fiscal 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, anticipated to be signed by Biden this week, paves the way for military service personnel to receive an average 5.2% pay raise in the coming year, Government Executive reported.

This 5.2% hike stands as the most substantial pay increase authorized for federal workers since the 9.1% average raise during the Jimmy Carter administration in 1980. Additionally, it represents a 0.6% increment from the previous year, which itself marked a 20-year high.

Thousands of federal employees will receive a marginally higher increase than initially anticipated. Recent modifications in the locality pay system, including the creation of four locality pay areas and updates based on new Office of Management and Budget data, contribute to this adjustment.

The President’s Pay Agent, comprising Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kiran Ahuja, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, and acting Labor Secretary Julie Su, approved these changes, expanding existing locality pay areas with the addition of numerous counties.

OPM is now tasked with publishing pay tables reflecting the raise across all general schedule pay grades and locality pay areas, available on the agency’s website upon completion.

The pay raise is set to take effect in the first full pay period of 2024, starting Jan. 14 for most federal employees.

Jim Thomas |

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.


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