Federal Employees’ Favorite Topics in 2019

Which topics were of the most interest to federal employees in 2019? Here is the top 20 list of the most popular FedSmith articles last year.

With the start of a new year, it is often of interest to see which topics were most popular among FedSmith readers in the previous year. Here is a retrospective of the most widely-read articles on FedSmith in 2019.

Any listing of the most widely read topics will reflect events impacting the federal community for the time period. The government shutdown impacted many people in the federal community. Many of the articles of most interest reflected these concerns—particularly those articles updating readers on the latest events concerning the status of their pay and the progress in resolving the shutdown.

While President Trump’s Executive Orders may have generated the most litigation, primarily from federal employee unions, the topic did not interest readers to the same extent as articles on pay and benefits. None of the articles in the “top 20” list were about the three Executive Orders on labor and employee relations.

In looking at the top 20 articles receiving the most traffic on the FedSmith site last year, there is an obvious trend: articles on pay and benefits were the most popular. So, with that in mind, it is fitting that the most popular article in 2019 was published on February 15th with this title: It’s Official: Federal Employees Are Getting a Raise in 2019.

To refresh your memory, the 2019 pay raise for federal employees was not finalized until after the start of the new year. This article came out right away and contained this paragraph summarizing the latest pay raise news at that time:

Congress has authorized a 1.9% pay increase in the spending bill that was passed to avoid another partial government shutdown at the end of the week. It will be retroactive to the start of 2019.


The term “benefits” covers a number of issues. Retirement is always a topic of interest among readers, and several of the top 20 articles for the year cover a few issues on federal employee retirement. How Much is the FERS Annuity Really Worth? was one of the most widely read articles on retirement.

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is another topic in the area of “pay and benefits” and How Many Millionaires Are in the Thrift Savings Plan? was the lead article on this subject.

Top 20 FedSmith Articles

Here is a listing of the most popular articles on the FedSmith site last year. Clicking on the title will lead directly to the article for those who would like to read it.

Thanks to FedSmith Authors

FedSmith would not be able to provide a daily stream of information to our readers without the authors who share their knowledge and expertise. Collectively they represent vast wealth as experts in their respective fields that they bring to you each day through their articles. We hope you will express your appreciation for articles of particular interest to you through the comments section or communicating directly with the authors through our website.

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