The number of city areas with their own GS locality pay scales will expand for 2016 by 13, under rules published yesterday (October 27) in the Federal Register triggering the largest expansion of that system since it started operating early in the Clinton administration. The addition of 13 city areas–Albany, Albuquerque, Austin, Charlotte, Colorado Springs, Davenport, Harrisburg, Kansas City, Laredo, Las Vegas, Palm Bay, St. Louis and Tucson–will bring the number of city areas to 44. In addition, Alaska and Hawaii are separate locality zones and there is a catchall “rest of the U.S.” locality for other areas. The new localities were recommended by an advisory group, the Federal Salary Council, because the pay gaps with the private sector have been substantially higher in them than in the RUS locality for an extended time. Also on tap is expansion of 21 of the existing localities due to new data on commuting patterns–of all workers, not just federal employees–that are used when deciding whether to add an outlying area to a city zone.
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