100+ “Rest of U.S.” Locations Recommended for Federal Locality Pay

By on September 6, 2016 in Pay & Benefits with 38 Comments

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In Raising Federal Employee Pay By Expanding Locality Pay Areas, we pointed out two of the ways in which the Federal Salary Council is expanding locality pay areas for federal employees.

As outlined in that article, there are numerous other geographic areas also being recommended for locality pay. The Salary Council lists these as “proposed new areas of application….These locations would be included in separate locality pay areas in addition to locations that will be in separate locality pay areas under the final regulations implementing locality pay areas applicable in January 2016.”

The Salary Council in 2014 recommended changes for adding criteria for evaluating single county “Rest of U.S.” locations that border multiple existing locality pay areas. It also recommended evaluating “Rest of U.S.” locations surrounded largely by higher paying locality pay areas into the locality pay system for inclusion into one of the separate locality pay areas bordering these areas.

Effectively, the Salary Council is recommending expanding locality pay to wide swaths of the United States, including some areas without any or one federal employee working under the General Schedule pay scale. The latest report from the President’s Pay Agent is dated October 23, 2015. The Pay Agent reviews recommendations from the Salary Council and decides if or when to proceed with recommendations.

We anticipate next report from the Pay Agent will be issued about the same time in 2016. The actual decision is up to the President’s Pay Agent. The Pay Agent, which is made up of the Secretary of Labor, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, does not automatically accept the recommendations of the Salary Council. It is not unusual for recommendations to be delayed for a year or more and it is not required that the Pay Agent ever accept the recommendations of the Salary Council. But, when the Salary Council makes a recommendation, it will usually be addressed and seriously considered

More information is available in the latest Salary Council report.

The list below displays “counties qualifying as areas of application under the proposed criteria for single-county locations adjacent to multiple locality pay areas and not qualifying under other criteria as areas of application.”

Single-County “Rest of U.S.” Locations Adjacent to Multiple Locality Pay Areas

Location Single-County Metropolitan Area Adjacent Locality Pay Areas Commuting Recommended Locality Pay Area GS Employees
La Paz County, AZ N/A Las Vegas,Los Angeles, and Phoenix Las Vegas, 7.85%; Los Angeles, 14.68%; Phoenix, 1.11% Los Angeles 214
Imperial County, CA El Centro, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area Los Angeles and San Diego Los Angeles, 4.74%; San Diego, 3.18% Los Angeles 2,016
Lake County, CA Clearlake, CA Micropolitan Statistical Area Sacramento and San Francisco Sacramento, 0.69%; San Francisco, 19.99%

San Francisco

87
Lincoln County, CO N/A Colorado Springs and Denver Colorado Springs, 7.81%; Denver 16.35% Denver 3
Holmes County, OH N/A Cleveland and Columbus Cleveland, 19.85%; Columbus, 2.67% Cleveland 12
Schuylkill County, PA Pottsville, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area Harrisburg, New York, and Philadelphia

Harrisburg, 9.15%; Philadelphia, 11.21%;

New York, 10.43%

Philadelphia 309
Fayette County, TX N/A Austin and Houston Austin, 11.53%; Houston, 12.95% Houston 7
Westmoreland County, VA N/A Richmond and Washington Richmond, 6.31%; Washington 27.69% Washington, DC 16

Adjacent “Rest of U.S.” Single Counties with 20 Percent or Higher Commuting

There are more than 100 counties in the U.S. in which the Salary Council indicates qualify “as areas of application under the proposed criteria for adjacent counties that are not part of a CBSA (Core-Based Statistical Area) or comprise a single-county micropolitan area….” Here is a listing of these counties, some of which have only one federal employee working under the General Schedule.

Pay Area Place Name Employment Interchange GS Employees Feb 2013 Metro Status
ALBANY Greene Co. NY 49.84% 3 Not in a metro area
ALBANY Hamilton Co. NY 35.44% 3 Not in a metro area
ALBUQUERQUE Mora Co. NM 49.32% 20 Not in a metro area
ALBUQUERQUE Socorro Co. NM 21.41% 109 Not in a metro area
ATLANTA Banks Co. GA 78.97% 1 Not in a metro area
ATLANTA Cleburne Co. AL 35.09% 19 Not in a metro area
ATLANTA Franklin Co. GA 25.87% 0 Not in a metro area
ATLANTA Gilmer Co. GA 27.53% 37 Not in a metro area
ATLANTA Greene Co. GA 36.49% 4 Not in a metro area
ATLANTA Habersham Co. GA 22.78% 35 Cornelia, GA Single County Micropolitan Statistical Area
ATLANTA Lumpkin Co. GA 66.59% 33 Not in a metro area
ATLANTA Putnam Co. GA 24.03% 29 Not in a metro area
ATLANTA Randolph Co. AL 25.94% 7 Not in a metro area
ATLANTA Talbot Co. GA 37.18% 1 Not in a metro area
ATLANTA Taliaferro Co. GA 25.81% 0 Not in a metro area
ATLANTA White Co. GA 38.88% 0 Not in a metro area
AUSTIN Blanco Co. TX 26.16% 34 Not in a metro area
AUSTIN Burnet Co. TX 21.70% 22 Not in a metro area
AUSTIN Lee Co. TX 29.18% 1 Not in a metro area
BOSTON Carroll Co. NH 25.68% 45 Not in a metro area
BOSTON Cheshire Co. NH 20.23% 32 Keene, NH Single County Micropolitan Statistical Area
BUFFALO Wyoming Co. NY 43.43% 6 Not in a metro area
CHARLOTTE Anson Co. NC 40.49% 4 Not in a metro area
CHARLOTTE Chesterfield Co. SC 22.22% 16 Not in a metro area
CHICAGO Iroquois Co. IL 34.28% 2 Not in a metro area
CHICAGO Starke Co. IN 31.19% 8 Not in a metro area
CINCINNATI Adams Co. OH 33.24% 2 Not in a metro area
CINCINNATI Fleming Co. KY 24.45% 9 Not in a metro area
CINCINNATI Highland Co. OH 38.65% 15 Not in a metro area
CINCINNATI Lewis Co. KY 21.70% 1 Not in a metro area
CINCINNATI Owen Co. KY 34.26% 3 Not in a metro area
CINCINNATI Ripley Co. IN 35.58% 8 Not in a metro area
CINCINNATI Robertson Co. KY 41.90% 0 Not in a metro area
CINCINNATI Switzerland Co. IN 48.70% 3 Not in a metro area
CLEVELAND Harrison Co. OH 32.01% 7 Not in a metro area
CLEVELAND Wayne Co. OH 35.51% 67 Wooster, OH Single County Micropolitan Statistical Area
COLUMBUS Coshocton Co. OH 20.80% 9 Coshocton, OH Single County Micropolitan Statistical Area
COLUMBUS Hardin Co. OH 22.92% 7 Not in a metro area
COLUMBUS Morgan Co. OH 34.49% 1 Not in a metro area
COLUMBUS Noble Co. OH 43.65% 0 Not in a metro area
COLUMBUS Pike Co. OH 35.41% 28 Not in a metro area
COLUMBUS Vinton Co. OH 35.30% 3 Not in a metro area
DALLAS Atoka Co. OK 22.09% 12 Not in a metro area
DALLAS Bosque Co. TX 22.98% 24 Not in a metro area
DALLAS Franklin Co. TX 24.38% 2 Not in a metro area
DALLAS Hill Co. TX 34.42% 18 Not in a metro area
DALLAS Jack Co. TX 40.87% 2 Not in a metro area
DALLAS Love Co. OK 42.88% 4 Not in a metro area
DALLAS Montague Co. TX 40.64% 5 Not in a metro area
DALLAS Rains Co. TX 60.24% 0 Not in a metro area
DALLAS Van Zandt Co. TX 44.75% 9 Not in a metro area
DAVENPORT Cedar Co. IA 33.40% 44 Not in a metro area
DAVENPORT Jackson Co. IA 25.88% 8 Not in a metro area
DAVENPORT Louisa Co. IA 37.26% 25 Not in a metro area
DETROIT Sanilac Co. MI 40.48% 5 Not in a metro area
DETROIT Tuscola Co. MI 25.43% 19 Not in a metro area
HARRISBURG Juniata Co. PA 31.04% 17 Not in a metro area
HOUSTON Colorado Co. TX 37.28% 9 Not in a metro area
HOUSTON Grimes Co. TX 39.90% 4 Not in a metro area
HOUSTON Polk Co. TX 24.34% 12 Not in a metro area
HUNTSVILLE Lincoln Co. TN 31.04% 5 Not in a metro area
INDIANAPOLIS Blackford Co. IN 31.03% 1 Not in a metro area
INDIANAPOLIS Fountain Co. IN 26.59% 2 Not in a metro area
INDIANAPOLIS Parke Co. IN 23.11% 10 Not in a metro area
INDIANAPOLIS Randolph Co. IN 28.33% 2 Not in a metro area
INDIANAPOLIS Rush Co. IN 71.71% 1 Not in a metro area
INDIANAPOLIS Tipton Co. IN 41.34% 0 Not in a metro area
KANSAS CITY Anderson Co. KS 34.15% 3 Not in a metro area
KANSAS CITY Brown Co. KS 21.90% 19 Not in a metro area
KANSAS CITY Carroll Co. MO 26.42% 5 Not in a metro area
KANSAS CITY Daviess Co. MO 42.57% 8 Not in a metro area
KANSAS CITY Gentry Co. MO 24.10% 4 Not in a metro area
KANSAS CITY Henry Co. MO 30.16% 16 Not in a metro area
KANSAS CITY Holt Co. MO 30.21% 9 Not in a metro area
MIAMI Glades Co. FL 32.30% 8 Not in a metro area
MINNEAPOLIS Kanabec Co. MN 47.01% 8 Not in a metro area
MINNEAPOLIS Meeker Co. MN 59.92% 16 Not in a metro area
MINNEAPOLIS Morrison Co. MN 34.80% 164 Not in a metro area
MINNEAPOLIS Pepin Co. WI 20.22% 2 Not in a metro area
MINNEAPOLIS Pine Co. MN 31.52% 208 Not in a metro area
MINNEAPOLIS Polk Co. WI 40.90% 29 Not in a metro area
MINNEAPOLIS Steele Co. MN 21.01% 3 Owatonna, MN Single County Micropolitan Statistical Area
NEW YORK Sullivan Co. NY 37.72% 32 Not in a metro area
NEW YORK Wayne Co. PA 23.29% 360 Not in a metro area
PITTSBURGH Greene Co. PA 47.24% 33 Not in a metro area
PORTLAND Wahkiakum Co. WA 41.47% 4 Not in a metro area
RALEIGH Caswell Co. NC 22.56% 0 Not in a metro area
RALEIGH Warren Co. NC 54.84% 2 Not in a metro area
RICHMOND Essex Co. VA 29.45% 4 Not in a metro area
RICHMOND Greensville Co. VA 26.60% 0 Not in a metro area
RICHMOND Nottoway Co. VA 41.63% 166 Not in a metro area
RICHMOND Surry Co. VA 37.26% 0 Not in a metro area
SACRAMENTO Alpine Co. CA 23.95% 11 Not in a metro area
SACRAMENTO Amador Co. CA 27.67% 47 Not in a metro area
SACRAMENTO Colusa Co. CA 29.31% 38 Not in a metro area
SACRAMENTO Sierra Co. CA 22.54% 39 Not in a metro area
SAN FRANCISCO Calaveras Co. CA 27.38% 56 Not in a metro area
SEATTLE Grays Harbor Co. WA 22.97% 38 Aberdeen, WA Single County Micropolitan Statistical Area
ST. LOUIS Gasconade Co. MO 33.97% 1 Not in a metro area
ST. LOUIS Greene Co. IL 32.10% 4 Not in a metro area
ST. LOUIS Iron County, MO 37.54% 0 Not in a metro area
ST. LOUIS Madison Co. MO 35.36% 0 Not in a metro area
ST. LOUIS Montgomery Co. IL 32.81% 26 Not in a metro area
ST. LOUIS Montgomery Co. MO 38.95% 3 Not in a metro area
ST. LOUIS Pike Co. MO 21.75% 9 Not in a metro area
ST. LOUIS Randolph Co. IL 34.63% 16 Not in a metro area
ST. LOUIS Ste. Genevieve Co. MO 50.27% 2 Not in a metro area
ST. LOUIS Washington Co. IL 47.32% 7 Not in a metro area
ST. LOUIS Washington Co. MO 63.99% 22 Not in a metro area
WASHINGTON, DC Caroline Co. MD 67.01% 6 Not in a metro area
WASHINGTON, DC Fulton Co. PA 51.64% 2 Not in a metro area
WASHINGTON, DC Madison Co. VA 38.46% 19 Not in a metro area
WASHINGTON, DC Orange Co. VA 58.33% 11 Not in a metro area
WASHINGTON, DC Page Co. VA 24.26% 100 Not in a metro area
WASHINGTON, DC Shenandoah Co. VA 40.48% 48 Not in a metro area

When action is taken by the President’s Pay Agent later this year, we will advise readers on their decisions that impact locality pay.

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

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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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