Federal Pay--Special Rates:

Effect on Recruitment and Retention for Selected Clerical Occupations

GGD-90-118: Published: Sep 24, 1990. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 1990.

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GAO examined the effectiveness of the use of special rates in recruiting and retaining federal clerical employees in selected localities.

GAO found that: (1) higher salaries paid under the special rates program appeared to help to retain employees in the four clerical occupations reviewed; (2) in 18 of the 20 specific special rate cases examined, quit rates declined in the year after the imposition of special rates; (3) comparatively, quit rates declined in about half of the 118 cases examined where personnel in the same occupations in other localities did not receive special rates; (4) federal agencies typically reported that special rates were generally effective in reducing turnover and improving recruitment; (5) federal agencies cited problems in the administration of special rates that limited their effectiveness in attracting and keeping employees; and (6) a comprehensive reform of the federal pay system would increase basic salaries to more competitive levels.

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