President Biden Has Announced His Plans for Federal Pay Raises in 2023

Daniella Cressman

President Biden has announced a 4.6% increase in wages for civilian employees.

"President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced plans to give civilian federal employees a pay raise in 2023, consistent with the increases he had proposed in his 2023 budget." —Amy B Wang

President Joe Biden provided the details of his plan.

“Specifically, I have determined that for 2023, the across-the-board base pay increase will be 4.1% and locality pay increases will average 0.5%, resulting in an overall average increase of 4.6% for civilian Federal employees." —President Joe Biden

The President indicated that recruitment and retention challenges played into his decision. He added that these wage increases would allow the federal government to compete with the private sector more efficiently.

"[Biden] cited recruitment and retention challenges for federal positions as part of the reason for the proposed increases. The new pay plan. he added, would allow the federal government to better compete with the private sector." —Amy B Wang

According to Biden, keeping Federal pay competitive is crucial.

“Multiple years of lower pay raises for Federal civilian employees than called for under regular law have resulted in a substantial pay gap for Federal employees compared to the private sector...The American people rely on Federal agencies being managed and staffed by skilled, talented, and engaged employees, including those possessing critical skills sets, which requires keeping Federal pay competitive.” —President Joe Biden

The raise would apply to around 2.1 million executive branch employees, though those working for the United States Postal Service would be excluded.

"The raise would apply to some 2.1 million executive branch employees, although not to the more than 600,000 employees of the U.S. Postal Service, whose raises are set through collective bargaining. Cost-of-living increases for federal retirees also are determined separately, reflecting the same inflation measure used for Social Security benefits." —Amy B Wang

That being said, the President's proposed pay increases are not set in stone, though they are very likely to take place since Congress is Democratically controlled.

"The president’s announced pay increases are not set in stone. If Congress enacts different rates of pay increases for 2023, those numbers would take precedent over Biden’s. If Congress doesn’t specify any rates, Biden’s numbers take effect automatically. The Democratic-controlled Congress is unlikely to push for rates lower than Biden’s." —Amy B Wang

Tony Reardon—the President of the National Treasury Employees Union—thinks the raise should be higher than Biden has proposed.

"[The increase would] go a long way toward helping recruit and retain the public servants our government needs...[my] union would continue to push Congress for the 5.1% average increase proposed by some Democrats." —Tony Reardon

Splitting the total into two parts would result in varying raises among some four dozen city areas.

"Splitting the total into two parts would result in varying raises among some four dozen city areas with their own rates; a catchall rate applies elsewhere. The Washington, D.C., region, where about 15% of federal employees work, would be in line for one of the larger raises, according to a recent report by an advisory committee on federal pay. Exact figures would be set near year’s end." —Amy B Wang

An average 4.6% wage increase would be the largest one since 2022.

"An average 4.6% raise would be the largest since a boost of that same percentage was paid in 2002. Two years earlier, employees had received an average 4.8% raise. Last year, Biden announced that civilian federal employees in 2022 would receive an across-the-board base pay increase of 2.2% and locality pay increases averaging 0.5%. Congress did not alter those figures." —Amy B Wang

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM
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