Who Would Be Impacted by New and Expanded Locality Pay Areas?

The proposed changes to locality pay areas would impact federal employees across the country. The proposal would not only add 13 new locality pay areas, it would also add to existing ones.

With the proposed addition of 13 new locality pay areas, a number of federal employees would be impacted in several geographic areas. (See Proposal Would Give 102k Federal Employees a Pay Raise in 2016)

The 13 new locality pay areas proposed are:

  • Albany- Schenectady, NY;
  • Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas, NM;
  • Austin-Round Rock, TX;
  • Charlotte-Concord, NC–SC;
  • Colorado Springs, CO;
  • Davenport- Moline, IA–IL;
  • Harrisburg-York- Lebanon, PA;
  • Laredo, TX;
  • Kansas City- Overland Park-Kansas City, MO–KS;
  • Las Vegas-Henderson, NV–AZ;
  • Palm Bay- Melbourne-Titusville, FL;
  • St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO–IL; and
  • Tucson-Nogales, AZ.

The proposed rule would also add the following counties to the new locality pay areas:

  • Fremont County, CO, and Pueblo County, CO, to the Colorado Springs, CO, locality pay area;
  • Lancaster County, PA, to the Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA, locality pay area;
  • Jackson County, KS, Jefferson County, KS, Osage County, KS, Shawnee County, KS, and Wabaunsee County, KS to the Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, MO– KS, locality pay area; and
  • Cochise County, AZ, to the Tucson-Nogales, AZ, locality pay area.

In additional to the 13 new locality pay areas, a number existing locality pay areas would be expanded as well. The expansion would impact existing locality pay areas by expanding the existing pay areas in a number of major metropolitan areas including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Miami, New York City and Washington, D.C.

Note that there have not been final decisions made on the locality pay areas. While OPM’s proposed regulations are important, it is just one step in the process of making these proposed changes.

The proposed expansion of existing locality pay areas would include:

Atlanta—Athens-Clarke County—Sandy Springs, GA 

Clarke County, GA; Gordon County, GA; Jackson County, GA; Madison County, GA; Morgan County, GA; Oconee County, GA; and Oglethorpe County, GA.

Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT-ME 

Androscoggin County, ME; Cumberland County, ME; Sagadahoc County, ME; and all portions of York County, ME, that are currently in the “Rest of U.S.” locality pay area.

Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI 

Bureau County, IL; LaSalle County, IL; and Putnam County, IL.

Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN

Mason County, KY, and Union County, IN.

Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH 

Carroll County, OH; Erie County, OH; Huron County, OH; Stark County, OH; and Tuscarawas County, OH.

Columbus-Marion-Zanesville, OH 

Guernsey County, OH; Hocking County, OH; Logan County, OH; Muskingum County, OH; and Perry County, OH.

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK 

Bryan County, OK; Hopkins County, TX; and Navarro County, TX.

Dayton-Springfield-Sidney, OH

Shelby County, OH.

Houston-The Woodlands, TX 

Trinity County, TX; Washington County, TX; and Wharton County, TX.

Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL 

Marshall County, AL.

Indianapolis-Carmel-Muncie, IN 

Decatur County, IN; Delaware County, IN; and Jackson County, IN.

Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA

All portions of Kern County, CA, currently included in the “Rest of U.S.” locality pay area.

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie, FL 

Indian River County, FL; Martin County, FL; Okeechobee County, FL; and St. Lucie County, FL.

Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, WI

Dodge County, WI; Jefferson County, WI; and Walworth County, WI.

Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI 

Le Sueur County, MN; Mille Lacs County, MN; and Sibley County, MN.

New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA 

Carbon County, PA; Lehigh County, PA; and Northampton County, PA.

Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-OH-WV

Jefferson County, OH; Indiana County, PA; Brooke County, WV; and Hancock County, WV.

Portland-Vancouver-Salem, OR-WA

Benton County, OR; Linn County, OR; and Cowlitz County, WA.

Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC 

Lee County, NC; Robeson County, NC; Scotland County, NC; Vance County, NC; and all portions of Granville County, NC, currently included in the “Rest of U.S.” locality pay area.

Seattle-Tacoma, WA 

Lewis County, WA.

Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA 

Dorchester County, MD; Kent County, MD; Talbot County, MD; Franklin County, PA; and Rappahannock County, VA.

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. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47