Gov Careers

By Phil Piemonte

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Another pay freeze

Feds took another pay hit this week — or next year, rather — when the Obama administration released its decision not to increase locality pay rates for 2012.

In other words, it's a locality pay freeze.

The administration, in the form of the president’s Pay Agent, rejected an increase in light of the two-year civilian pay freeze and “the continuing economic emergency affecting the general welfare.”

And the general welfare isn’t doing so well. A couple of days earlier, on May 13, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Consumer Price Index summary for April. According to that report, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, also known as the CPI-U, increased 0.4 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis.

As the bureau's summary also notes: “The 12-month increases of major indexes continue to climb. The all items index rose 3.2 percent for the 12 months ending April 2011, the highest figure since October 2008. The energy index has now risen 19.0 percent over the last 12 months, with the gasoline index up 33.1 percent.”

Although the news continues to be grim on the federal pay front, feds do enjoy one advantage over private-sector workers when it comes to pay increases (or none): The news comes well in advance compared to those in the private sector, who usually have far less time to plan for frozen or lower wages.

Cold comfort, but true.

Posted by Phil Piemonte on May 17, 2011 at 12:13 PM


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