2024 Federal Pay Raise: Where Does it Stand Now?
The 2024 federal pay raise is one step closer to being finalized after President Biden issued his alternative pay plan letter yesterday outlining the amounts he wants for next year’s pay raise for federal employees.
Anticipating the percentage increase for how each GS locality pay area will fare in 2024 would be futile. When the figures are finalized, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will provide a copy of the 2024 General Schedule (GS) pay tables, including 2024 GS locality pay. This usually happens in December.
In March, the Biden administration proposed a 2024 federal pay raise of 5.2%. That is the first step in a complex process. Congress has not indicated any interest in approving a different amount.
The next step took place on August 31, 2023, when President Biden issued an alternative pay plan letter for the 2024 federal pay raise.
This letter states:
Title 5, United States Code, authorizes me to implement alternative plans for pay adjustments for civilian Federal employees covered by the General Schedule and certain other pay systems if, because of “national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare,” I view the increases that would otherwise take effect as inappropriate.
Congress could also pass legislation to determine a different pay raise amount. As that has not been done earlier this year, and there were several opportunities where Congress could have done so in legislation under consideration, that is unlikely to happen for the 2024 pay raise for federal employees.
The 5.2% pay raise, assuming that is the final amount, will be divided between an average of 0.5% for locality pay areas and 4.7% as an across-the-board pay raise according to what Biden outlined in the letter.
2024 Federal Pay Raise Likely to Be the Biggest Since the Carter Administration
For 2023, the average pay raise was 4.6%. The 2023 pay raise was the largest pay raise in 20 years for the federal workforce. During the Bush administration, federal employees received an identical pay raise percentage of 4.6% back in 2002. On the other hand, and better news for those federal employees in 2002, the inflation rate was 1.6%. (See Federal Employee Pay Raises and Inflation).
So, primarily because of inflation, the 2024 federal pay raise will most likely exceed the 4.8% pay raise for federal employees approved in 1981 during the Carter administration.
Estimated 2024 GS Pay Scale Table
FedSmith has created this 2024 GS pay scale table of the base pay rates to provide some early information for readers.
While we will not know the percentage increase for each locality pay area until later this year, it is possible to calculate an estimate of how the base pay rates will be changed for each GS pay grade before the final locality pay percentages are calculated.
|Grade||Step 1||Step 2||Step 3||Step 4||Step 5||Step 6||Step 7||Step 8||Step 9||Step 10||WGI|
This table shows an estimated 2024 GS pay scale based on the expected 2024 federal pay raise of 5.2% with a 2024 General Schedule (GS) base pay raise of 4.7%.
Why only 4.7% and not 5.2%? 5.2% will probably be the average raise, and when the annual federal pay raise is issued each year, it usually includes an across-the-board base pay increase and an amount set aside for locality pay. Since the president proposed a base pay increase of 4.7% with 0.5% for locality pay in his alternative pay plan letter, we used the 4.7% figure for the estimated 2024 GS pay scale table.
Note the 2024 GS pay table will not be finalized until OPM issues the final figures after the 2024 federal pay raise is finalized with an executive order. In most years, this occurs in December. Last year, the Executive Order implementing the 2023 federal pay raise was issued on December 23rd.
This means there will be adjustments in the final figures. The final adjustment will reflect the more significant increase for areas that usually receive large pay raises. Typically, this includes higher pay raises for larger cities because of locality pay. Here are the 2023 GS pay tables for each locality.
2024 GS Locality Pay Areas
In a new Federal Register notice issued on June 28, 2023, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) proposed four new locality pay areas. A final regulation was posted in the Federal Register on November 16, 2023. The four that have been approved and will be included in locality pay in 2024 are:
- Fresno-Madera-Hanford, California;
- Reno-Fernley, Nevada;
- Rochester-Batavia-Seneca Falls, New York; and
- Spokane-Spokane Valley-Coeur d’Alene, Washington-Idaho.
We will not know the pay increase for these new areas until OPM announces the 2024 pay rates.
2024 GS Locality Pay Areas
Here is a list of the 2024 locality pay areas including the combined statistical areas (CSA) that have been incorporated that will receive the new locality pay rates starting in January 2024.
(1) Alaska—consisting of the State of Alaska;
(2) Albany-Schenectady, NY-MA—consisting of the Albany-Schenectady, NY CSA and also including Berkshire County, MA, Greene County, NY, and Hamilton County, NY;
(3) Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas, NM—consisting of the Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas, NM CSA and also including Cibola County, NM, and McKinley County, NM;
(4) Atlanta—Athens-Clarke County—Sandy Springs, GA-AL—consisting of the Atlanta—Athens-Clarke County—Sandy Springs, GA-AL CSA and also including Cherokee County, AL, Cleburne County, AL, Lee County, AL, Randolph County, AL, Russell County, AL, Banks County, GA, Chattahoochee County, GA, Elbert County, GA, Franklin County, GA, Gilmer County, GA, Gordon County, GA, Greene County, GA, Harris County, GA, Lumpkin County, GA, Marion County, GA, Muscogee County, GA, Putnam County, GA, Rabun County, GA, Stewart County, GA, Talbot County, GA, Taliaferro County, GA, and White County, GA;
(5) Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX—consisting of the Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX MSA and also including Blanco County, TX, Burnet County, TX, Lee County, TX, and Milam County, TX;
(6) Birmingham-Hoover-Talladega, AL—consisting of the Birmingham-Hoover-Talladega, AL CSA and also including Calhoun County, AL, Clay County, AL, Coosa County, AL, Etowah County, AL, Greene County, AL, Hale County, AL, Pickens County, AL, Tallapoosa County, AL, Tuscaloosa County, AL, and Winston County, AL;
(7) Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT-ME-VT—consisting of the Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT CSA and also including Androscoggin County, ME, Cumberland County, ME, Sagadahoc County, ME, York County, ME, Dukes County, MA, Nantucket County, MA, Carroll County, NH, Cheshire County, NH, Grafton County, NH, Sullivan County, NH, Orange County, VT, and Windsor County, VT;
(8) Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Olean, NY—consisting of the Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Olean, NY CSA and also including Allegany County, NY, and Wyoming County, NY;
(9) Burlington-South Burlington-Barre, VT—consisting of the Burlington-South Burlington-Barre, VT CSA and also including Addison County, VT, and Lamoille County, VT;
(10) Charlotte-Concord, NC-SC—consisting of the Charlotte-Concord, NC-SC CSA and also including Alexander County, NC, Burke County, NC, Caldwell County, NC, Catawba County, NC, and Chesterfield County, SC;
(11) Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI—consisting of the Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI CSA and also including Boone County, IL, Iroquois County, IL, Ogle County, IL, Stephenson County, IL, Winnebago County, IL, and Starke County, IN;
(12) Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN—consisting of the Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN CSA and also including Ripley County, IN, Switzerland County, IN, Carroll County, KY, Fleming County, KY, Lewis County, KY, Owen County, KY, Robertson County, KY, Adams County, OH, and Highland County, OH;
(13) Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH-PA—consisting of the Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH CSA and also including Ashland County, OH, Columbiana County, OH, Crawford County, OH, Harrison County, OH, Holmes County, OH, Mahoning County, OH, Richland County, OH, Trumbull County, OH, and Mercer County, PA;
(14) Colorado Springs, CO—consisting of the Colorado Springs, CO MSA and also including Fremont County, CO, and Pueblo County, CO;
(15) Columbus-Marion-Zanesville, OH—consisting of the Columbus-Marion-Zanesville, OH CSA and also including Coshocton County, OH, Hardin County, OH, Morgan County, OH, Noble County, OH, Pike County, OH, and Vinton County, OH;
(16) Corpus Christi-Kingsville-Alice, TX—consisting of the Corpus Christi-Kingsville-Alice, TX CSA and also including Brooks County, TX, Live Oak County, TX, and Refugio County, TX;
(17) Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK—consisting of the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK CSA and also including Carter County, OK, Love County, OK, Delta County, TX, Hill County, TX, Hopkins County, TX, Jack County, TX, Montague County, TX, Rains County, TX, Somervell County, TX, and Van Zandt County, TX;
(18) Davenport-Moline, IA-IL—consisting of the Davenport-Moline, IA-IL CSA and also including Carroll County, IL, Lee County, IL, Whiteside County, IL, Cedar County, IA, Jackson County, IA, and Louisa County, IA;
(19) Dayton-Springfield-Kettering, OH—consisting of the Dayton-Springfield-Kettering, OH CSA and also including Allen County, OH, Auglaize County, OH, Mercer County, OH, Preble County, OH, and Van Wert County, OH;
(20) Denver-Aurora, CO—consisting of the Denver-Aurora, CO CSA and also including Larimer County, CO, and Lincoln County, CO;
(21) Des Moines-Ames-West Des Moines, IA—consisting of the Des Moines-Ames-West Des Moines, IA CSA and also including Adair County, IA, Clarke County, IA, Greene County, IA, Hamilton County, IA, Lucas County, IA, Monroe County, IA, and Poweshiek County, IA;
(22) Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor, MI—consisting of the Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor, MI CSA and also including Clinton County, MI, Eaton County, MI, Huron County, MI, Ingham County, MI, Jackson County, MI, Sanilac County, MI, Shiawassee County, MI, and Tuscola County, MI;
(23) Fresno-Madera-Hanford, CA—consisting of the Fresno-Madera-Hanford, CA CSA and also including Mariposa County, CA, and Tulare County, CA;
(24) Harrisburg-Lebanon, PA—consisting of the Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA CSA, except for Adams County, PA, and York County, PA, and also including Juniata County, PA, and Lancaster County, PA;
(25) Hartford-East Hartford, CT-MA—consisting of the Hartford-East Hartford, CT CSA and also including Franklin County, MA, Hampden County, MA, and Hampshire County, MA;
(26) Hawaii—consisting of the State of Hawaii;
(27) Houston-The Woodlands, TX—consisting of the Houston-The Woodlands, TX CSA and also including Colorado County, TX, Grimes County, TX, Jackson County, TX, Madison County, TX, San Jacinto County, TX, and Trinity County, TX;
(28) Huntsville-Decatur, AL-TN—consisting of the Huntsville-Decatur, AL CSA and also including Colbert County, AL, DeKalb County, AL, Lauderdale County, AL, Marshall County, AL, and Lincoln County, TN;
(29) Indianapolis-Carmel-Muncie, IN—consisting of the Indianapolis-Carmel-Muncie, IN CSA and also including Benton County, IN, Blackford County, IN, Carroll County, IN, Clinton County, IN, Fayette County, IN, Fountain County, IN, Grant County, IN, Lawrence County, IN, Monroe County, IN, Owen County, IN, Randolph County, IN, Rush County, IN, Tippecanoe County, IN, Tipton County, IN, Warren County, IN, and Wayne County, IN;
(30) Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, MO-KS—consisting of the Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, MO-KS CSA and also including Anderson County, KS, Jackson County, KS, Jefferson County, KS, Osage County, KS, Shawnee County, KS, Wabaunsee County, KS, Carroll County, MO, Daviess County, MO, Gentry County, MO, Henry County, MO, and Holt County, MO;
(31) Laredo, TX—consisting of the Laredo, TX MSA and also including Jim Hogg County, TX, and La Salle County, TX;
(32) Las Vegas-Henderson, NV-AZ—consisting of the Las Vegas-Henderson, NV CSA and also including Mohave County, AZ;
(33) Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA—consisting of the Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA CSA and also including Imperial County, CA, Kern County, CA, San Luis Obispo County, CA, and Santa Barbara County, CA;
(34) Miami-Port St. Lucie-Fort Lauderdale, FL—consisting of the Miami-Port St. Lucie-Fort Lauderdale, FL CSA and also including Okeechobee County, FL;
(35) Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, WI—consisting of the Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, WI CSA and also including Fond du Lac County, WI, and Sheboygan County, WI;
(36) Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI—consisting of the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI CSA and also including Blue Earth County, MN, Brown County, MN, Dodge County, MN, Fillmore County, MN, Kanabec County, MN, Meeker County, MN, Morrison County, MN, Mower County, MN, Nicollet County, MN, Olmsted County, MN, Pine County, MN, Sibley County, MN, Wabasha County, MN, Waseca County, MN, and Polk County, WI;
(37) New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA—consisting of the New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA CSA and also including Warren County, NJ, Sullivan County, NY, Carbon County, PA, Lehigh County, PA, Northampton County, PA, Wayne County, PA, and all of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst;
(38) Omaha-Council Bluffs-Fremont, NE-IA—consisting of the Omaha-Council Bluffs-Fremont, NE-IA CSA and also including Fremont County, IA, Shelby County, IA, and Burt County, NE;
(39) Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL—consisting of the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL MSA;
(40) Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD—consisting of the Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD CSA, except for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, and also including Sussex County, DE, Somerset County, MD, Wicomico County, MD, Worcester County, MD, and Schuylkill County, PA;
(41) Phoenix-Mesa, AZ—consisting of the Phoenix-Mesa, AZ CSA;
(42) Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-OH-WV—consisting of the Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-OH-WV CSA and also including Belmont County, OH, Cambria County, PA, Greene County, PA, Somerset County, PA, Marshall County, WV, and Ohio County, WV;
(43) Portland-Vancouver-Salem, OR-WA—consisting of the Portland-Vancouver-Salem, OR-WA CSA and also including Wahkiakum County, WA;
(44) Raleigh-Durham-Cary, NC—consisting of the Raleigh-Durham-Cary, NC CSA and also including Caswell County, NC, Cumberland County, NC, Edgecombe County, NC, Halifax County, NC, Harnett County, NC, Hoke County, NC, Lee County, NC, Moore County, NC, Nash County, NC, Northampton County, NC, Robeson County, NC, Scotland County, NC, Warren County, NC, Wayne County, NC, and Wilson County, NC;
(45) Reno-Fernley, NV—consisting of the Reno-Carson City-Fernley, NV CSA, except for Carson City, NV, and Douglas County, NV, and also including Churchill County, NV;
(46) Richmond, VA—consisting of the Richmond, VA MSA and also including Brunswick County, VA, Cumberland County, VA, Essex County, VA, Greensville County, VA, Louisa County, VA, Nottoway County, VA, and Emporia city, VA;
(47) Rochester-Batavia-Seneca Falls, NY—consisting of the Rochester-Batavia-Seneca Falls, NY CSA;
(48) Sacramento-Roseville, CA-—consisting of the Sacramento-Roseville, CA CSA and also including Alpine County, CA, Amador County, CA, Butte County, CA, Colusa County, CA, Sierra County, CA, Carson City, NV, and Douglas County, NV;
(49) San Antonio-New Braunfels-Pearsall, TX—consisting of the San Antonio-New Braunfels-Pearsall, TX CSA and also including Gillespie County, TX, Gonzales County, TX, Karnes County, TX, Kerr County, TX, and McMullen County, TX;
(50) San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA—consisting of the San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA MSA;
(51) San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA—consisting of the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA CSA and also including Calaveras County, CA, and Monterey County, CA;
(52) Seattle-Tacoma, WA—consisting of the Seattle-Tacoma, WA CSA and also including Clallam County, WA, Grays Harbor County, WA, Jefferson County, WA, Pacific County, WA, San Juan County, WA, and Whatcom County, WA;
(53) Spokane-Spokane Valley-Coeur d’Alene, WA-ID—consisting of the Spokane-Spokane Valley-Coeur d’Alene, WA-ID CSA and also including Benewah County, ID, Shoshone County, ID, Ferry County, WA, Lincoln County, WA, and Pend Oreille County, WA;
(54) St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL—consisting of the St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL CSA and also including Fayette County, IL, Greene County, IL, Montgomery County, IL, Randolph County, IL, Washington County, IL, Crawford County, MO, Gasconade County, MO, Iron County, MO, Madison County, MO, Montgomery County, MO, Pike County, MO, Ste. Genevieve County, MO, and Washington County, MO;
(55) Tucson-Nogales, AZ—consisting of the Tucson-Nogales, AZ CSA and also including Cochise County, AZ;
(56) Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA-NC—consisting of the Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA-NC CSA and also including Chowan County, NC, Hertford County, NC, Tyrrell County, NC, Middlesex County, VA, and Surry County, VA;
(57) Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA—consisting of the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA CSA and also including Allegany County, MD, Caroline County, MD, Dorchester County, MD, Kent County, MD, Adams County, PA, Fulton County, PA, York County, PA, Caroline County, VA, King George County, VA, Orange County, VA, Shenandoah County, VA, Westmoreland County, VA, Hardy County, WV, and Mineral County, WV; and
(58) Rest of U.S.—consisting of those portions of the United States and its territories and possessions as listed in 5 CFR 591.205 not located within another locality pay area.
2023 GS Pay Scale
Frequently Asked Questions About the GS Pay Scale
What is the GS Pay Scale?
The General Schedule (GS) pay system covers the majority of civilian white-collar federal employees employed in professional, technical, administrative, and clerical positions.
What Are Within-Grade Increases (WGI)?
Each General Schedule (GS) grade has 10 step rates (steps 1-10), and federal employees can move to higher steps throughout their careers. Within-grade increases (WGI) are based on an acceptable level of performance and longevity (waiting periods of 1 year at steps 1-3, 2 years at steps 4-6, and 3 years at steps 7-9).
How is GS Locality Pay Calculated?
Most federal employees under the General Schedule are entitled to GS locality pay which is a geographic-based percentage rate that reflects pay levels for non-Federal workers in certain geographic areas. These pay levels are determined by surveys conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS measures non-federal compensation in a labor market and compares it to federal pay for GS employees performing similar work in the same geographic area.