General Schedule (GS) Pay Raise History

Each year congress decides whether or not to raise the General Schedule (GS) pay scale, which applies to nearly 3 million federal employees across the 15 Federal Departments and numerous independent agencies.

Pay raises are typically 1-3%, although pay rates may be frozen during difficult economic times. Raises must be approved by congress in their yearly budget. If congress does not pass a budget, the president may introduce a raise with an executive order. Pay raise decisions are often highly political.

New pay rates go into effect at the start of the first full pay period of the new year. Employees' pay will increase on the first day the rates go into effect, instead of having to wait for a full governmental pay period to receive their raise.

This table shows historic pay raise information for the GS base pay table. The Office of Personnel Management can issue new locality rates each year as well. Your net pay increase including your locality rate may be greater than the base pay increase alone.

2020 General Schedule Pay Raise: Please note that the GS Pay Raise for 2020 will go into effect on January 1st, 2020. Pay raises data will be available here once the rates have been made official.

Year Percent Pay Raise Example Salary Raise for a GS-5 Step 5
2019 1.4% From $32,805.00 to $33,262.00 / year ($457.00 raise)
2018 1.4% From $32,353.00 to $32,805.00 / year ($452.00 raise)
2017 1.0% From $32,030.00 to $32,353.00 / year ($323.00 raise)
2016 1.0% From $31,714.00 to $32,030.00 / year ($316.00 raise)
2015 1.0% From $31,401.00 to $31,714.00 / year ($313.00 raise)
2014 1.0% From $31,087.00 to $31,401.00 / year ($314.00 raise)
2013 0.0% From $31,087.00 to $31,087.00 / year ($0.00 raise)
2012 0.0% From $31,087.00 to $31,087.00 / year ($0.00 raise)
2011 0.0% From $31,087.00 to $31,087.00 / year ($0.00 raise)
2010 1.5% From $30,630.00 to $31,087.00 / year ($457.00 raise)
2009 2.9% From $29,764.00 to $30,630.00 / year ($866.00 raise)
2008 2.5% From $29,039.00 to $29,764.00 / year ($725.00 raise)
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** This Document Provided By www.FederalPay.org - The Civil Employee's Resource **
Source: www.federalpay.org/gs/raises