Federal Pay:

Comparisons With the Private Sector by Job and Locality

GGD-90-81FS: Published: May 15, 1990. Publicly Released: May 15, 1990.

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GAO examined federal employment policies and practices to determine how to improve federal recruitment and retention, focusing on whether federal white-collar salary rates were competitive with nonfederal rates within local geographic areas.

GAO found that: (1) in the 748 metropolitan statistical area (MSA) job-level combination comparisons in 1987, the private sector paid more in 89 percent; (2) in the 755 MSA job-level combination comparisons in 1988, the private sector paid more in 90 percent; (3) in the MSA job-level comparisons where the private sector paid more, the overall median private sector pay advantage was 24.2 percent, or $3,717, in 1987, and 21.9 percent, or $3,483, in 1988; (4) in MSA job levels where the federal government paid more, the median federal pay advantage was 5.4 percent, or $866, in 1987, and 5.5 percent, or $1,023, in 1988; (5) the degree of pay disparity was more apparent in administrative jobs than in clerical or technical jobs; and (6) in 1988, the private sector paid more in 93.7 percent of administrative job-level comparisons, compared with 90.1 percent of clerical or technical job-level comparisons.

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  • employment icon, source: GAO

    Priority Open Recommendations:

    Department of Labor
    GAO-19-395SP: Published: Apr 3, 2019. Publicly Released: Apr 10, 2019.

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