Estimated 2023 GS Pay Scale for Federal Employees

What will federal employee pay be in 2023? Here is an estimate of the 2023 GS pay scale for each GS grade and step. Final figures will be out later this month.

Update: The 2023 federal pay raise has been finalized. The original article follows below.

Before the end of the month, President Biden will issue an Executive Order that contains (as an attachment) the 2023 GS pay scale (the General Schedule) for each locality pay area.

Trying to anticipate how each locality pay area will fare in 2023 would be a futile exercise. When the figures are finalized, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will provide a copy of the 2023 GS pay tables including 2023 GS locality pay.

What is possible, however, is calculating an approximation of how the pay rates will be changed for each GS pay grade before the final locality pay percentages are calculated.

Early 2023 GS Pay Scale Table

FedSmith has created a 2023 GS pay scale table to provide some early information for readers. We have now posted this pay table.

This table shows an estimated 2023 GS pay scale incorporating the expected 2023 federal pay raise with a General Schedule (GS) base pay increase of 4.1%. This is based on the likely 2023 federal pay raise per President Biden’s alternative pay plan letter issued in August.

The page also shows the likely 2023 GS locality pay areas for the General Schedule pay system. An accompanying article explains the changes that have just been announced to the locality pay areas for 2023.

Note that the 2023 GS pay table will not be finalized until the Office of Personnel Management issues the final figures after the 2023 federal pay raise is finalized. This will occur when an Executive Order is issued in December 2022 implementing the 2023 pay raise.

This means that there will be adjustments in the final figures. The final adjustment will reflect the larger increase for areas such as Washington, DC, and San Francisco, California and other areas which generally receive a larger increase with any pay raise that provides an additional amount for locality pay areas.

Last year, the Executive Order implementing the 2022 federal pay raise was issued on December 22nd. It is likely the Order for 2023 will be issued at about the same time this year.

For newer federal employees, the page with these pay tables also briefly explains the General Schedule pay system and within-grade increase (WGI) raises.

In 2022: 3.02% Pay Raise for Washington, DC and New York

There are significant differences in the pay raise for different locality pay areas. Here are several examples of how federal employees fared in 2022.

For those in the Washington, DC statistical area, the total 2022 increase was 3.02%.

Federal employees in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA locality pay area did even better. The raise for that locality pay area was 3.14% last year.

The “Rest of the United States” which is generally applicable to federal employees not in a locality pay area, received a raise of 2.42%. The average pay raise for all federal employees in 2022 was 2.7%.

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