President Biden has formally announced plans to give civilian federal employees a pay raise next year, an election-year promise bound to please government workers struggling with high inflation like the rest of the voters.
In a letter to congressional leadership, Mr. Biden said civilian federal employees will see an average 4.6% boost in pay beginning Jan. 1, consistent with his 2023 budget proposal in the spring.
The raise includes an across-the-board 4.1% increase and locality pay that will increase by an average of 0.5%.
Mr. Biden cited a growing pay gap between federal civilian and private sector employees that have led to recruitment and retention challenges within the federal government as the impetus for the boost.
“Federal agencies have witnessed growing recruitment and retention challenges with Federal positions experiencing eroded compensation,” Mr. Biden wrote in the letter on Wednesday.
“Multiple years of lower pay raises for Federal civilian employees than called for under regular law have resulted in a substantial pay gap for Federal employees compared to the private sector,” he added.
The 4.6% boost will be the largest pay raise for federal employees in two decades. Federal employees received a raise by the same percentage in 2002.
Federal employees received a 2.7% pay raise in 2022.
“The American people rely on Federal agencies being managed and staffed by skilled, talented, and engaged employees, including those possessing critical skill sets, which requires keeping Federal pay competitive,” Mr. Biden said.