When was the last time you received a pay raise over 8%?

Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA) reintroduced the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act, a bill that would provide federal employees with a 2024 pay raise of 8.7 percent.

If passed, the legislation would provide a base pay raise of 4.7% plus a 4% average locality pay increase.

Add to that increased pension and other benefit costs.

What is the pay raise in 2023?

Organizations are still handing out sturdy raises, with 56% of those surveyed planning to give bumps of more than 3%, up from 53% last year. But fewer firms say they’ll allot large pay increases of more than 5%. That means the average is likely to shrink from more than 5% to a range of 4% to 5%, Payscale says.

“Some employees may not see their pay increase as high as last year because of economic concerns or because their organization gave higher pay increases last year,” says Amy Stewart, an associate director of content for Payscale.



  1. 2014. I helped my then-employer by leading a “surge” team effort at a major government agency (with deep pockets) when they were short-staffed. It led to a follow-on, multi-year, multi-million dollar contract because of our efforts.

    I got a 12% raise that year but you can bet it was back to 2-3% after that.


  2. It was 1978, I believe, or possibly 1979. The California State Legislature voted a 12 percent general increase, with an additional 5 percent for certain occupations (mine included, thank you).
    Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the raise, and the veto was overturned by the legislature.
    Pay raises for public employees are driven by entirely different factors than the market forces driving private pay, and are usually countercyclical.
    It is not unusual for government employees to go several years with little or no increase, then try* to catch up with private sector pay.


    More importantly, IMHO, is the base pattern that is always there, that lower level public employees consistently earn more than equivalent private employees, and higher level public employees earn less than private peers, even with the (public) higher pensions and benefits.

    The difference at the extremes is rather dramatic, and consistent between several studies. It occurs in every state, at every level of government, even in other OECD countries.

    *and every time they try, there are articles like this.


  3. Government employees used to get better benefits because the pay wasn’t quite as good as the civilian world… now they get both better pay and benefits. This is wrong!


      1. I know of very few civilian employees who get up to 4 weeks of vacation and additional sick time like government employees, and I was in a position to compare government vs. civilian wages (the company I worked for actually had the government hire at least 10% of our employees). It is true, despite your denials.


      2. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecec.toc.htm

        Table 3 State and Local workers : $57.02 per hour

        Table 6 Total compensation costs for private employees with an establishment size of 500 workers or more is $57.25/hr.

        Most state and local establishments are 500 or more workers.

        The dichotomy is not between public and private workers, but between large employers (including government) and small employers.

        Large private sector establishments actually have more paid time off than public workers , on average. 9.2 percent of compensation vs. 7.4 percent for state and local workers.

        It’s complicated. The numbers above are averages…

        ” The IFS found that after adjusting for workers’ characteristics, the lower-paid half of public-sector employees are paid on average more than their private sector counterparts, while the higher paid half are paid less.”

        That is from the UK. Same paradigm is true for the US, at every level of government.


  4. Only in conjunction with a promotion. Otherwise, raises this year at the Fortune 100 company where I’m employed are about 3 % this year.


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