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Presidents Pay Agent

Locality Pay Areas

Under 5 U.S.C. 5304(e)(2)(A), the Federal Salary Council made a recommendation to the Pay Agent on the composition of locality pay areas for 2009. This recommendation was transmitted to the Pay Agent in a memorandum dated October 25, 2007. (See Appendix I.)

New Locality Pay Areas

The Council reviewed pay gaps for Austin, Buffalo, Louisville, Memphis, Phoenix, and Raleigh again this year. These data are from small-scale surveys BLS conducts as part of its data collection for the RUS locality pay area. While we asked BLS to expand the sample in these areas, they have not yet been able to do so. Because these are small-scale RUS surveys, the sample size is generally smaller than would be the case if BLS had conducted full-scale locality pay surveys in each of these areas. Pay Agent staff asked BLS to include these areas in a model with the existing locality pay areas and produce model-filled data files for review.

The pay gaps for these areas using the small-scale NCS surveys with model fills for missing jobs are shown in the table below.

Table 2.
Pay Gaps in Six Areas

Area 2007 Pay Gap (Percent) Compared to RUS
Austin-Round Rock, TX MSA 28.08 -1.56
Buffalo-Niagara-Cattaragus, NY CSA 37.19 7.55
Louisville-Elizabeth-Scottsburg, KY-IN CSA 29.97 0.33
Memphis, TN MSA 25.99 -3.65
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ MSA 41.55 11.91
Raleigh-Durham-Cary, NC CSA 31.49 1.85

MSA means Metropolitan Statistical Area and CSA means Combined Statistical Area as defined by the Office of Management and Budget.

The Council concluded that we should keep the new Buffalo, Phoenix, and Raleigh locality pay areas just implemented in 2006, but that Austin, Memphis, and Louisville should remain in the RUS locality pay area. The Council also concluded we should continue to monitor Austin, Louisville, and Memphis as BLS continues with its survey redesign. We agree with the Council's recommendations.

The data for the RUS locality pay area used in this report include data from Austin, Buffalo, Louisville, and Memphis. The Pay Agent instructed BLS to continue to include these surveys in the RUS data until it completes implementation of its survey geographic redesign because each of these surveys represents other areas in BLS' sampling scheme. We have adjusted the RUS pay gap in a cost neutral fashion to net out Buffalo since it is now a separate locality pay area. The other three locations continue to be a part of the RUS area. BLS did not include data from Phoenix in the RUS data this year since Phoenix represented only itself in the BLS geographic design, and the Raleigh survey was cancelled when BLS' budget was reduced in 2004 and the Raleigh data are no longer in the RUS estimates. We used the old Raleigh data this year to calculate the Raleigh pay gap, appropriately aged. We continue to encourage BLS to expedite renewal of its salary survey in the Raleigh area.

Defining Locality Pay Areas

The Federal Salary Council reviewed requests from Federal employees in 33 areas for changes in locality pay area boundaries or new locality pay areas. These requests included a request for a separate locality pay area in Albany, NY, and a request to add Berkshire County, MA, to the Hartford locality pay area. The Council recommended we not make any of the requested changes and we agree. The Council's recommendations are in Appendix I.

Locality Pay Areas for 2009

The Pay Agent intends to provide for the same locality pay areas in 2009 as in 2008:

  1. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, GA-AL-consisting of the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, GA-AL CSA;
  2. Boston-Worcester-Manchester, MA-NH-RI-ME-consisting of the Boston-Worcester-Manchester, MA-RI-NH CSA, plus Barnstable County, MA, and Berwick, Eliot, Kittery, South Berwick, and York towns in York County, ME;
  3. Buffalo-Niagara-Cattaraugus, NY-consisting of the Buffalo-Niagara-Cattaraugus, NY CSA;
  4. Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, IL-IN-WI-consisting of the Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, IL-IN-WI CSA;
  5. Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, OH-KY-IN-consisting of the Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, OH-KY-IN CSA;
  6. Cleveland-Akron-Elyria, OH-consisting of the Cleveland-Akron-Elyria, OH CSA;
  7. Columbus-Marion-Chillicothe, OH-consisting of the Columbus-Marion-Chillicothe, OH CSA;
  8. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-consisting of the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX CSA;
  9. Dayton-Springfield-Greenville, OH-consisting of the Dayton-Springfield-Greenville, OH CSA;
  10. Denver-Aurora-Boulder, CO-consisting of the Denver-Aurora-Boulder, CO CSA, plus the Ft. Collins-Loveland, CO MSA;
  11. Detroit-Warren-Flint, MI-consisting of the Detroit-Warren-Flint, MI CSA, plus Lenawee County, MI;
  12. Hartford-West Hartford-Willimantic, CT-MA-consisting of the Hartford-West Hartford-Willimantic, CT CSA, plus the Springfield, MA MSA and New London County, CT;
  13. Houston-Baytown-Huntsville, TX-consisting of the Houston-Baytown-Huntsville, TX CSA;
  14. Huntsville-Decatur, AL-consisting of the Huntsville-Decatur, AL CSA;
  15. Indianapolis-Anderson-Columbus, IN-consisting of the Indianapolis-Anderson-Columbus, IN CSA, plus Grant County, IN;
  16. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA-consisting of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA CSA, plus the Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, CA MSA and all of Edwards Air Force Base, CA;
  17. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL-consisting of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL MSA, plus Monroe County, FL;
  18. Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, WI-consisting of the Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, WI CSA;
  19. Minneapolis-St. Paul-St. Cloud, MN-WI-consisting of the Minneapolis-St. Paul-St. Cloud, MN-WI CSA;
  20. New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA-consisting of the New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA CSA, plus Monroe County, PA, and Warren County, NJ;
  21. Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland, PA-NJ-DE-MD-consisting of the Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland, PA-NJ-DE-MD CSA, plus Kent County, DE, Atlantic County, NJ, and Cape May County, NJ;
  22. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ-consisting of the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ MSA;
  23. Pittsburgh-New Castle, PA-consisting of the Pittsburgh-New Castle, PA CSA;
  24. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA-consisting of the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA MSA, plus Marion County, OR, and Polk County, OR;
  25. Raleigh-Durham-Cary, NC-consisting of the Raleigh-Durham-Cary, NC CSA, plus the Fayetteville, NC MSA, the Goldsboro, NC MSA, and the Federal Correctional Complex Butner, NC;
  26. Richmond, VA-consisting of the Richmond, VA MSA;
  27. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Yuba City, CA-NV-consisting of the Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Yuba City, CA-NV CSA, plus Carson City, NV;
  28. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA-consisting of the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA MSA;
  29. San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA-consisting of the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA CSA, plus the Salinas, CA MSA and San Joaquin County, CA;
  30. Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia, WA-consisting of the Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia, WA CSA, plus Whatcom County, WA;
  31. Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA-consisting of the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV CSA, plus the Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV MSA, the York-Hanover-Gettysburg, PA CSA, and King George County, VA; and
  32. Rest of U.S.-consisting of those portions of the continental United States not located within another locality pay area.

Component counties of MSAs and CSAs are identified in OMB Bulletins available on the Internet at