Will Federal Employees Get a Pay Raise in 2013?

Will federal employees receive a raise in 2013?

The most accurate answer is no one knows but there are reasons for optimism. There is a good chance that federal employees will get a raise starting in January. It may not be a large one, and it will certainly be less than what many employees think they should get. But, with deficits exceeding more than a trillion dollars each year and debt levels setting new records, high unemployment among the American workforce and at least some in Congress looking for ways to cut government spending, any raise would be welcome by many readers.

Current Status of a 2013 Pay Raise

The most recent event in this yearly political drama is the Senate rejected an amendment to a highway funding bill that would have extended the current pay freeze through January 2014. The purpose of the pay freeze was to pay for federal spending such as energy projects, tax deductions for college expenses and the loss in federal revenue as a result of state and local property tax deductions.

Some readers will recall that the administration proposed a pay freeze for federal employees late in 2010. (President Obama Proposes Freeze on Federal Civilian Employee Pay for 2 Years)

A two-year freeze was put into place for 2011 and 2012 although the freeze did not extend to within-grade increases and did not apply to all federal employees. Also, some federal employees received a promotion with an accompanying increase in pay. Some readers have also commented that in some agencies, some employees have been re-classified into a different job series which resulted in a pay raise through the back door as a way of getting around a pay freeze.

In addition to the recent vote in the Senate against extending the pay freeze, the White House has proposed a pay raise of 0.5 percent for next year’s budget.

So, with the Senate and the White House in favor of a pay raise of at least 0.5 percent, there appears to be a good chance of at least a small raise being passed for 2013.

The real question is what will happen in the House of Representatives. A rider could be attached to future legislation imposing another pay freeze. This has already happened but the attempts have been defeated in the Senate.

While federal employee unions often devote much of their time and energy in trying to elect Democrats during each election, and, along the way, generally portraying all federal employees in the politically neutral “civil service” as supporters of one political party, the federal pay raise (or lack thereof) is always heavily influenced by political considerations. That is especially true during a presidential election year.

While many Republicans probably believe the federal workforce receives pay and benefits that are often too high when compared to the private sector, that issue is secondary to winning as many votes as possible in Congressional and presidential elections. A small federal pay raise is not expensive enough to take the chance of generating the negative publicity that would emanate from inside the beltway by blocking a federal employee pay raise. A pending election focuses the attention of politicians on their political survival and trumps any other issue. In the overall scheme of things, the federal employee pay raise is a relatively minor issue for many elected officials. That will help in the negotiations for a pay raise next year.

Locality Pay Vs. Across the Board Pay Raise

The federal pay structure is complex and the procedure for determining the raise each year is convoluted. In most years, there is an average pay figure released. The actual amount of pay received by an individual federal employee depends on the geographic location of the employee. (See, for example, Executive Order Issued on 2009 Pay Increase: Where Are the Biggest Winners Located?)

If the final pay raise is 0.5%, as proposed by the White House, Congress could decide to award an across the board pay increase so that everyone would receive the same percentage increase. Or, with the ability of computers to compute into very small amounts, the locality pay rates could still be applied which would mean some federal employees, such as those in the “rest of the U.S.” would receive virtually no increase. (See the federal pay calculator for the current locality pay figure in your geographic area.) Or, of course, Congress could decide to pass a higher pay raise than the 0.5% proposed.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that there is a good chance for at least a small pay increase in 2013 for active duty federal employees.

Remember that in 2010, the Obama Administration proposed a pay increase of 1.4% for 2011. The final raise: $0. (See Negotiations Starting on 2011 Pay Raise: How About 1.4%? and President Obama Proposes Freeze on Federal Civilian Employee Pay for 2 Years)

While federal employees have not had a pay raise in two years, the federal workforce has had a good run of pay raises for a number of years. For those who have been working for Uncle Sam for a few years, this chart below compares federal pay raises to the private sector from 2000 – 2008. The figures in this chart are from the tables by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. While the consistent increases may make some feel better about the current pay freeze, there is little doubt this record of consistent increases will be one of the factors that will be brought up in discussions on your 2012 pay:


The average federal employee also received a pay raise of 2% in 2010 and a  raise of 3.9% in 2009. And, of course, there was no pay raise for current federal employees in 2011 and 2012.

For those who have not received a promotion or a within-grade increase, two years is a long time to go without a pay raise, even with relatively modest inflation. That situation is likely to change in January 2013.

We will, of course, keep our readers advised as events progress throughout the year.

© 2016 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources.

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  1. SBERRYPRAYS says:


  2. A different view says:

    I haven’t seen that in my Federal job.  What I see is many new faces, less than 4 years of Federal service.  Though many of those aren’t necessarily “younger” a lot of them are second career or former military.  They still start at the low end of the pay scale though.  Instead, we have a lot of training to do and a lot of knowledge that has walked out the door or is walking out the door shortly. 

  3. SR2 says:

    These pay charts make me want to puke. 80K/year for average federal pay? Really? Does this chart venture outside D.C.? How about in Idaho where I work? I consider myself an average guy…but I do NOT receive “average” pay! I wouldn’t receive “average” pay if I work as a Feddie for the next 425 years and receive the natural pay bumps that come with the job. And I even have a college degree.

    • HRGuy71 says:

      I came across this article on the fedsmith website: http://www.fedsmith.com/articl

      Probably most of these very highly paid people are in DC but they are certainly driving up the national average by getting much higher pay for the same jobs as people are doing in other agencies. 

      That does not necessarily mean federal employees getting less for the same job are underpaid–my suspicion is that these folks are paid much more than the job deserves because they are funded by taxes on the industries that they regulate. Since the money is there, the agency just spends it by raising taxes.

  4. RevenueProducingUnit14 says:

    It is not two years, it is three.  Last raise was in early 2010.  Next possibility is early 2013 (a two year freeze is actually three, a three year freeze is four, etc.)  As an engineer (with 10+ years of experience), the numbers show that I am making 18% less that my civilian counterpart. On the pay band system, there are no step raises.  The more educated Federal workers are paid less, the less educated (and very hardworking support staff) are making more. (Relative to the private sector.)  Watching Congress trying to score sound bite points by freezing my already relatively low salary (while raising my contributions for retirement and insurance) is infuriating.  Difficult to plan for the future.  I came to civilian service for job security and accepted the lower pay as a trade-off.  As that balance becomes more lopsided against the Fed worker, there will be attrition of the more marketable folks.  Penny wise and pound foolish for the long run.

  5. packerbacker86 says:

    If the president thinks that giving small business owners tax breaks for hiring new employees, or giving existing employees a raise, “Stimulates” the economy and giving the Wisconsin union workers the benefits they want stimulates the economy, how does freezing my wages for 2 years help out?  I’d love to take part in “stimulating” the economy along with everyone else.

  6. report please says:

    The question I have is why the private sector isn;t paying a living wage.  I would bet that an apple to apple in comparison in terms of employee characteristics and requirements as well as benefits provided would yield quite different results–probably the opposite of what is shown.    

  7. Msohm says:

    If these charts compare all Federal pay vs all Private pay it is worthless and misleading. There just isn’t alot of need for retail and fast food workers in the federal pay system. Hey, just thought of this, maybe the federal pay includes those on disability, SSI, and other socialist pay programs.  Point is, unless you have the ability to review and validate the data that was used to create the charts above, then it is meaningless.  Too many sheep in the world, be a wolf.

  8. ExoticWaves says:

    The chart in the article is misleading.  There are less federal workers than private sector employees, and the large base of private sector people puts downward pressure on the private sector averages.  I think a better comparison would be to compare (fed vs private) among job-functions (doctors, lawyers, engineers, economists, et al), and also among high-priced localities (DC, NY, SF, et al).  Many federal jobs are professional jobs – and their private sector equivalents have similar compensation.  I don’t hear anyone comparing private sector doctor/lawyer compensation with menial private sector jobs.

    • W Rothgeb says:

       I agree the figures are misleading. The low paid worker is discriminated against because his daily living costs keep going up such as gas, all the necessities of life, and he never gets an increase to compensate for this. Stop the blanket stats and compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.

  9. lazycs says:

    The good news is there is agreement in both the House and Senate to end SS supplement. FERS/CRS is already unfunded by $560B and this hemorrhaging has to end

  10. Bjshum says:

    Thank you AFGE for backing Obummer for President!  My life has really gotten better since he took office!  Michelle’s vacations have increased too!

  11. HRGuy71 says:

    People generally conclude that whatever is in their own economic interest is true. In this case, federal employees almost always conclude that the Federal Salary Council, which is dominated by unions and agencies that serve their interests, are correct when they conclude the federal workforce is underpaid.
    On the other hand, there are a number of studies that show federal employees are generally paid more than private sector–even when controlling for education and job requirements. 

    Here is a quote from an article that ran today in one paper that addresses some of the concerns that people have raised in this discussion forum. I don’t have any false illusions that anyone will believe it as it means we are making too much money but, whether we like it or not, it is what most American believe:

    “Federal employees, in general, are more highly educated and skilled than the workforce as a whole and I’m sure that is true of TVA as well,” said James Sherk, a senior policy analyst and labor economist at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “But even when you control for education and job skills, federal employees are generally paid more than those in the private sector. There just aren’t the market forces to keep a check on their wages.”

    • Guest says:

      The trick is Sherk’s use of the word “generally”.  Sherk’s statement sounds consistent with last month’s (?) CBO report.  But Sherk’s statement also glosses over a detail which matters, at least to me:  the CBO found that highly educated professionals are compensated (or paid, I forget which) 23% less than similarly-qualified workers in the private sector. 

      As someone who is somewhat underpaid according to that study, it matters a great deal to me to not be lumped in indiscriminately with the rest of the crowd.

  12. Barbara BaRTH says:

    Ralph, modest inflation where are you living. Our FEHB goes up more than our pay raises. For the number of federal employees OPM does a very poor job of getting us a fair deal on their FEHB. If they freeze our pay FEHB should freeze too. Obviously you haven’t been to the gas pump or grocery store lately and it will only get worse. You can’t measure private industry with most federal jobs. Like the others below it’s not apples to apples.

    • FedSmith says:

      I was referring to the official government inflation figures which show inflation at about 2.9%. No doubt, the official figure is understated for a number of reasons, largely to benefit those seeking re-election.

      As we noted in the article at http://www.fedsmith.com/articl

      “[I]f you step out your door to the gas station or grocery store, you’re probably not going to believe those official numbers. It’s easy to get “sticker shock” when buying food or gas, especially considering that in the last year, grocery prices are up about 5.3%, and gasoline prices are up about 9.7%—quite a bit higher than the official inflation rates.This is because the U.S. is heavily weighted towards real estate to the tune of about 40% of the Consumer Price Index. And of course that sector and persistent weak housing prices have been weighing down the average for some time now. So the official rate of consumer inflation in the past year is just 2.9%.As a result, the Fed is able to say that inflation is under control and keep short-term interest rates artificially low. However, when you take real estate out of the equation, inflation is closer to 8%, a whole lot higher than the “official” rates. “

    • Guest says:

      You don’t need to compare jobs, so much as workers.  For example, even though there are few in the private sector who do my job, I *can* be replaced by a suitable-prepared private sector worker, and vice-versa.  So I think one should compare my salary to the going salaries of the private-sector workers who could replace me, given a little job-specific training.

      • John Al Trinidad says:

        Wrong. Most government jobs require you to have a security clearance and a full physical examination before you can even be *considered*. You think a 1 for 1 swap would be equivalent? Hardly. Oh, did I mention that most positions also require you to have college degrees?

        • Guest says:

          Without going into details, I disagree with your claims about security and physicals.

          And the need for those things doesn’t mean I’m wrong.  It just means we have to be careful in discussing the pool of private-sector workers that are suitable for apples-and-apples comparison to government workers.

    • tired says:

      I HAVE TO ADD THIS TO YOUR RESPONSE.  The FEHB is horrible.  Codes were changed this year and Blue Cross has dropped several things that were covered last year.  The same issues my husband and I had last year were covered.  This year they are paying Zero.  Blue Cross blames the doctor for using the wrong code when submitting the bill.  But it is not the doctors fault, it is the new FEHB (Affordable Health Care Act).  OPM is killing all of us financially.  I would like to retire but can not afford medical bills without working. Another reason I would not retire is due to the backlog in receive your full annuity check.  You can not live on a partial (one fourth or one third) of FERS.  What is going on here.  Some people have been waiting over a year for their full annuity.  Why can’t someone in Washington fix this mess and now.  All they are interested in is getting elected.  Fetired Fed, I feel like you regarding votiing.  Just can not decide who is the lesser of two evils.

      • Go Dems! says:

        Did you NOT notice the insurance companies have been making billions in profit.  If you had to change insurance companies and had a pre-existing condition without the act you would not be covered at all.  Quit listening to what the right wingers say and educate yourself!  If the GOP has it there way you may not get a retirement.  Be careful what you wish for – you may get it!  Or should I say you may deserve what you DON’T get.

        • lazycs says:

          But the trial lawyers who are part of the dme’s based remove $500 Billion a year form the system far more than the insurance companies profits

    • lazycs says:

      Inflation has nothing to do with federal pay

  13. Mortgage up 8% and no COLA... says:

    Let’s compare apples to apples.  Remember, many of these private sector figures thrown about include people without any college.  Let’s face it, there are fewer and fewer good paying, private sector jobs.  Our manufacturing workforce is decimated, whereas we have lots of new jobs at Walmart and McDonalds.  On the same side of the argument, the federal workforce does not include contracted jobs — such as canteen services or housekeeping.  You cannot compare a fast food worker to a lawyer — compare apples to apples, unless your real goal is to scapegoat someone other than your 1% contributors who are paying less taxes than they did under Reagan.

    • lazycs says:

      And most of those private sector people work more than 20 hours a week. When CS work the same hours and are as accountable then you can make a case

      • hole_digger says:

        who do you think is only working 20 hours a week? I am a federal employee and work 40-50 hours a week.  My biggest gripe with Federal employment has more to do with how funds are allocated, leaving no incentive for agencies not to spend on stuff we don’t need.  I feel like there are many ways that government workers are held accountable, but you have to be careful not to lump a government worker on the GS pay scale as the same as some of the more public civil servants (i.e. politicians).

  14. Bonren1 says:

    Hello, Here is a Question I am a fed. WG in Pa i work with GS that recieve the New York State pay scale .   Can some explain to me why Wage Grade  WG dont get the New York Pay scale like the GS does? Are we the only state that splits up the WG vs. GS but work in the same building.

    • Old Fed says:

      There are 2 PA areas that are listed as combined with NY-NJ, etc. PHILADELPHIA-CAMDEN-VINELAND, PA-NJ-DE-MD and NEW YORK-NEWARK-BRIDGEPORT, NY-NJ-CT-PA. These areas are defined at: http://www.opm.gov/oca/12table…. According to OPM, non-GS employees must receive the same rate of locality pay as GS: http://www.opm.gov/oca/12table… and click on “Continuation of Locality Pay for non-GS Employees.”  In pertinent part, it says, “All employees in a given locality pay area who receive locality payments in 2012 must receive the same percentage as received by GS employees in that area, subject to applicable pay caps.”  Since you are WG, you should be represented by a Union. I would question them as to why this isn’t happening.

    • GmanQA says:

      WG employees don’t fall under the locality pay rules that GS does.  WG pay rates are set by “wage surveys” of a specific geographic area that are jointly conducted by employee reps (union) and management reps.  Participants in the survey, which alternates years as being a physical survey (driving around & interviewing representative civilian industries & businesses) and phone surveys.  Once all data is compiled formulas are used to compute the amount of any pay increase.  Different areas around the country are paid at different rates, but it has nothing to do with the locality pay for GS employees.  I was WG for 27 years and now GS for 4 years, and have had the wage survey training and participated in wage surveys.  GS and WG locality pay rates are not the same animals.  You will never see them the same, even if you work in the same building as GS employees.  As stated, you need to gripe to your union to do a better job on the wage surveys.  If they are lazy, it will be reflected in your low pay scale.  Good luck.

  15. valeriewmc says:

    It has taken me 20 years in the government to work up to what I am paid now.  measuring my salary to someone who is new or just worked for a few years, is not a fair comparison.

    • gem says:

       why?  because you think you are entitled?

      • Guest says:

        I think she’s arguing that the chart lumped together overly broad groups, and so the comparisons weren’t meaningful.

        Even in the private sector, there is typically a price premium associated with more experienced workers.  Not necessarily in jobs like ditch-digging or burger-flipping, but certainly in things like law and medicine, where experience is beneficial.

      • John Al Trinidad says:

        You don’t think more experience should equal more pay? What is wrong with you?

        • lazycs says:

          more experience doing the same clerical job?? Ahhh NO

          • John Al Trinidad says:

            Ahhhh yes. Even if it is just a clerical job. When new employees get hired, who do you think will teach them? The more experience you have the faster you work and the more efficient you become.

            Entry level workers are expected to work a little below standards because they need to learn the job first.
            Once you get some experience in, you become up to standards at the capacity that you are supposed to be.
            The ones that really shine are the people that work beyond the standard and only people with lots of experience get to that point. They certainly deserve more money than the entry recruit and even the people that are on standard.
            Even the most mundane job requires pay raises to deserving people.
             I can see how you view people lazycs…. you would definitely not make a
            good manager.

          • lazycs says:

            John that maybe true in the private sector but we are talking the federal govt here. All that happens with the more experienced workers is they play more video game or more social networking. there isn’t any added productivity.
            As for training the new folks, let me give you the standard CS party line…your working too hard and making the rest of us look bad. It pays the same no matter how little you do

          • W Rothgeb says:

             Lazycs I don’t know who you worked for but if I were caught playing video games my boss would have said ‘we don’t need you anymore’ and I would have been looking for a new job. Thank goodness I retired 20 years ago before things got as bad as they are today.

            My son is into computer security with a private company and making twice what I retired with. He’s a graduate of U of Michigan with an engineering degree in aerospace, totally switched his field and is doing quite well in a private company. You fail to mention whether the person has any personal ambition. Can’t imagine anyone in my dept. spending time the way you describe. I blame the boss for lack of supervision. In my opinion Unions are good for lazy people. You get a raise no matter what you do like playing games.

          • sewtoday says:

            What! I make the same as others in the government and work my butt off. I also have 2 bachelor degrees and a master degree and I am a GS 6 at the top of the food chain. I will never see an increase in my wages. I am trying very hard to look at moving up at least to a GS 9/12. That would be great. I am NOT LAZY I work very hard where I work at even when I worked in the private sector. I have never heard that phrase about making others look bad. Everyone I know at work all are working very hard and more then the normal 40 hour week at comp time not over time.

  16. Retired Fed says:

    I don’t know why the federal workforce tolerates this abuse year after year.
    Sure it is illegal to strike but there must be other ways to legally protest the abuse.
    I am glad I am retired.
    I just don’t know if I will be voting in the next election when there is no one to trust.
    Do I vote for the lesser of two evils?

  17. Just Sayin says:

    Would be happy to get anything, even though it will go straight to my gas tank!

  18. CantControlMyself says:

    Wow, a whole half a percent? Beach mansion here I come!

    • lazycs says:

      That’s $600 a year more

      • A Guest says:

        Let see….$600 – $300 after taxes;

        $300 leftover for 365 days = 82 cent a day for a Gumball!  Your $600 gross pay gets you bumped up on the IRS Tax Schedule in a higher tax bracket so you can pay more taxes for next year and end up with less money than before you got the 05% increase!  🙁

  19. Federaled Up says:

    Article also just tacitly mentions that Obama gave Feds ONLY 2 percent in 2009 while military got higher.  You want the military to get something because they are military?  Then raise their salaries but don’t keep pitting Feds against military and vice versa

    • Guest says:

      To be fair, much more is demanded of most in the military.  I’ve never been in it, but from what I’ve seen it’s a very hard grind.  Even when you’re not getting your legs blown off.  I have no problem with them getting more of a raise than me.

      • Girl Geek says:

        Just daily life in the military with out a war is not easy. Lots of demands and requirements – many of which seem silly. Most military members are expected to stay in a state of readiness at all times which can be a bit stressful and there is one heck of a lot of BS to put up with. I don’t regret being in the military but I like many others reached my BS saturation point and had to get out. No problem for me if they get a raise either.

    • lazycs says:

      Might because the military is accountable and has to recruit. Unlike CS positions that have 10,000 applications for every opening

      • Whatever! says:

        Life is about choices and obviously you are jealous of cs, so the military didn’t wind up being it was all cracked up to be for you.  Why didn’t you go to the private sector?  Afraid of a little hard work.  It was easier to have everything paid for you, then later disability and a military pension for working a lousy 20 years.  I get the 20 if you had gone to war, but I bet like most of the others you are collecting disability for gout!  What a joke!  

  20. Zon05454 says:

    Well, I agree. I have an idea, it won’t happen but it’s an idea. Stop raising my health insurance portions, co=pays, etc. Freeze all costs incurred. My bills never go down, they increase. How can you stay in the black-positive side. Eventaully your in the red-negative side. Without a raise, what am I to do. Outside emplyment in my field is not approved and takes months of review just for submittal purposes.

  21. Federaled Up says:

    0.5 percent is frankly insulting.  If I make $60,000 a year, it’s a $500 dollar pay adjustments after 3 years.  Frankly it is nothing .

    • Carpe Diem says:

      If you’re making $60,000 a year, it’s actually a $300 pay adjustment, not $500.  Meanwhile, gas and food prices continue to increase at a considerably higher rate than 0.5 percent.  It cost me $57 to fill up my car’s gas tank last week, and the rates have gone up again since then. 

      • Msohm says:

        Both are right if you take into consideration both the gross and the net. Carpe, Don’t forget the taxes and the cost of benefits go up with raises.  I did a quick estimate and the net for me over a three year period would be 540$.

  22. Federaled Up says:

    Great article but the chart is misleading because it is merely looking at Federal pay as a whole not the individual pay rates.  The administrative pay adjustments are to be applied to each rate… 

  23. Shaneeqa says:

    The chart was quite interesting, but I would have liked to see it extended to include the 2 years that Federal Employees received NO COST OF LIVING INCREASE under Obama and what the Private Sector received. I am sure the private sector received an increasing COLA while Fed Employees received nothing.

    • Guest says:

      Great point.  Where are 2009-2011?

      • FedSmith says:

        As noted in the article:
        “The average federal employee also received a pay raise of 2% in 2010 and a  raise of 3.9% in 2009. And, of course, there was no pay raise for current federal employees in 2011 and 2012.”

        • Guest says:

          Yeah, but that doesn’t say what happened to private-sector pay during those years.

          Presumably the graph would have shown the pay gap narrowing during those years.  It would have been interesting to see the particular amount by which the gap changed during those years.

          Also, even though there were no across-the-board pay raises to feds during those years, there were certainly some raises due to promotions and special union-negotiated contracts. So I imagine the data for those missing years would still be interesting, and defy the simple summary given.

  24. PTParks says:

    Not counting on it, either.  Even if it comes in, it will be such a small percentage that it will have already been eaten up by increased prices over the last two years.

  25. USDA Employee says:

    Is anyone taking into account that many in the  gov’t work force are reaching the end of their careers and are now at the top of their pay scale?  We have not been able to hire any new YOUNG people at the lower end of the pay scale that desire to work their way up the ladder.  Most of us in our dept. are in our 50’s and for each person that has retired or taken buyouts we have not been able to replace.

    • Fed Worker says:

      Agree.  Addionally, the chart above is showing that an equal counterpart is making approx. $32K less than federal worker.  I can guarantee that my counterpart in the private sector is making at least the same base if not slightly higher as well as bonus, overtime, comapny credit card to cover expenses (paid by company), and parking covered.  I am not sure how anyone came to the conclusion that federal workers are paid significantly higher…this is just not true.

      • Guest says:

        “Addionally, the chart above is showing that an equal counterpart is making approx. $32K less than federal worker.”

        I belive you’re mistaken.  I don’t see anything in that chart that shows the jobs have been matched in any way.  That chart appears to show the entire federal and private-sector workforces.  As various studies have shown, this kind of lumping-together is misleading, because more detailed breakdowns show that some feds are overpaid and some are underpaid, when job description is taken into account.

        • lazycs says:

          $80K VS $50K look again

          • blue says:

            That chart is average Fed worker vs average private worker… not private worker with similar job.  For all we know, the private sector could be heavily diluted with McDs and Wal-Mart jobs.  Most Fed workers I know have Masters Degrees and up.  I am a Fed I have an MBA, most of my fellow MBA graduates make 50%-100% more than me when you add in their bonuses (which they may have not received in 2008-2010, but in 2011 and 2012 they all got big bonuses again).  … With that said, I work 40-45 hrs a week, many of them work 50-55. 

            I would like to see a pay comparison chart for Fed and Private employees with bachelors degrees, masters, and phd etc.

          • Davidp5619 says:

            Education isn’t everything – experience has more to do with it. I got into the Fed with a 4.0 AA degree and 20 years of Active Duty. It’s all about drive. But you are correct – there are alot of tattoo’ed/hockey puck earring wearin pot smoking 20 somethings out there who graduated college because their parents paid for it and are waiting for something to be handed to them.

      • lazycs says:

        Balony what field are you in??

      • TractorEngineer says:

        Agree.  There are contract engineers in my office making $40K/year more than me as a GS-12.  The program managers are doing better than that.  Fed workers are making more than private sector?  Not bloody likely!

      • Bviwish says:

        I transfered from industry myself into the government 2 years ago. Industry benefits are much better and cost less and YES they make about $10K – $15K more for the same work.

    • Candiseahawks says:

      What is sad is that you have the people that are not wanting to or cant afford to retire still working and the younger generation that they are trying to get in the door are not staying because they forced to get laid off. And cant afford to stay there.

      • hole_digger says:

        I don’t fully agree with that statement.  The generation that is about to retire but can’t afford to yet are generally not in entry-level positions.  There is a trickle-down effect that contributes to this, but a bigger factor is that for all the publicity about government spending, many agencies are facing significant budget cuts that make it difficult to justify hiring new employees.  Even as older employees retire, not all of the positions that are vacated are filled due to budget constraints.

    • Girl Geek says:

      Very true, most of the baby boomers are almost there and are at the peak of their careers. I will say that the government has done alot of insourcing of contractors in the past few years which also can change the averages.

    • Raholder39 says:

      Quite the contrary with the DOJ/FBI.  Our agency has hired nothing BUT young people and contractors (former FBI AGENTS).  Try looking at some of these other agencies:  SAIC, ManTech and Caci to compare. 

      • Angie Adkins says:

        SAIC and ManTech are not federal workers. They are contracting agencies and the employees are quite well paid compared to the federal employees performing similar jobs.

  26. Reys21 says:

    If the country is in so much need of money they can have my pay raise for another year. A .20 cents raise an hour does not make a big difference. All employees up to GS-7 and WG-7 should get a pay raise. 

    • Not A Fed says:

      Why are you trying to justify all employees up to GS-7 and WG-7.  What is your reasoning for this group versus others?  Is this another socailist approach make everone equal pay that does not work in the real world.

      • Guest says:

        I actually agree with Reys21 in a certain sense.  If financial times are *very* dire, it’s the lower-paid employees who are more likely at the end of their financial ropes than the higher-paid ones.  If the goal is to minimize the number of federal workers going into bankruptcy, or having to switch to the private sector to avoid bankruptcy, his idea is kind of sensible.

        However, “Not A Fed” is right about the real world.  Most employees, including higher-paid ones, have some particular pay-gap amount, above which they’ll just switch to the private sector.  You might argue that such a gap doesn’t exist for most federal employees, but it does for the ones in professional roles.  Careful thought should be given to the possibility of driving them away.  And in general, the most qualified ones are those who are most likely to leave first.

      • lazycs says:

        the entire pay scheme is based on socialism

  27. Steven Duke says:

    0.5%….what a slap in the face

    • Half the Story says:

      Let’s not forget, at some point the “tax cut” that has reduced Social Security withholding by 2% will surely be recognized as damaging to that system.  So a 0.5% raise may actually be a 1.5% cut!

    • Go Dems! says:

      It’s better than the poke in the eye and kick in the butt the GOP would like to dole out.

    • Taxpayer says:

      Considering your current pay & benefits, you don’t even deserve 0.5%, especially in the current economy…do you live in a cave?

  28. MeteoroVet says:

    Well, I’m certainly not counting on it…