Federal Pay:

Private Sector Salary Differences by Locality

GGD-91-63FS: Published: Apr 29, 1991. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 1991.

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GAO compared federal white-color salary rates with non-federal rates within local geographic areas.

GAO found that: (1) private sector employers paid more than the federal government in each of the 22 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA); (2) the size of the average private-sector advantage varied by MSA, ranging from 6 percent to 39 percent; (3) in 9 of 22 MSA, federal pay trailed average private-sector pay by more than 25 percent; (4) in only 3 of 22 MSA was the average private-sector pay advantage less than 15 percent; and (5) there were substantial differences in pay competitiveness within MSA across salary grades and across jobs within grades.

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