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Salary Trends

FEDERAL CLASSIFIED
EMPLOYEES, 1939-64

Bulletin No. 1444

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
W. Willard Wirtz, Secretary




BU RE AU OF LABOR S T A TIS TIC S
Ewan Clague, Commissioner




Salary Trends

FEDERAL CLASSIFIED
EMPLOYEES, 1939-64

Bulletin No. 1444
M ay 1965

CS5J

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
W. Willard Wirtz, Secretary

b u r ea u o f la b o r s ta tis tic s

Ew n Clague,
a

Commissioner

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Washington, D.C., 20402 - Price 35 cents










Preface
T h is r e p o r t p r e s e n t s in d e x e s tr a c i n g s a l a r y tr e n d s
fo r F e d e r a l C l a s s i f i e d E m p lo y e e s fo r the p e r i o d 1939—
64.
It in c lu d e s m a t e r i a l s p r e v i o u s l y p u b lish e d a s
Wage M o v e m e n ts, S e r i e s 3, No. 6, " F e d e r a l C l a s s i f i e d
E m p l o y e e s : S a l a r y T r e n d s , 1939— 0 " arid s e v e n s u p p le ­
5
m e n t a r y r e p o r t s fr o m the Monthly L a b o r Review of
May 1951, M ay 1952, S e p t e m b e r 1953, A p r i l 1955, F e b r u ­
a r y 1959, M ay 1961, and O cto b er 1964, and two a d d itio n a l
s u p p le m e n t s fo r 1957 and 1960—
61, which bro u g h t the o r i g i ­
n al study up to date through 1964. T h is r e v i s e d r e p o r t is
intended m e r e l y to in c o r p o r a t e the in fo r m a tio n fo r the e n ­
ti r e p e r i o d into one docum en t r a t h e r than to p r e s e n t any
in fo r m a t io n not p r e v i o u s l y p u b lish e d .
The ap p en dix to th is r e p o r t e x p la in s the c o v e r a g e ,
m e t h o d s , and s o u r c e of d a ta u s e d f o r the s t u d i e s .
A de­
s c r ip t i o n of the c a lc u la tio n of the in d e x e s is a l s o in cluded.
The s a l a r y tr e n d s p r o g r a m i s d ir e c t e d by L ily
M a r y D avid, C h ief of the D iv isio n of Wage E c o n o m i c s ,
un der the g e n e r a l d ir e c t io n of L . R. L i n s e n m a y e r , A s ­
s i s t a n t C o m m i s s i o n e r f o r W ages and In d u st r ia l R e la t io n s .
T h is
r e p o r t w as p r e p a r e d un der the s u p e r v i s i o n of
A lb e r t A. B e lm a n .
The a n a l y s i s fo r the p e r i o d I960 to
1964 w a s p r e p a r e d by Je a n n e G r i e s t .

iii

Contents
Page
Salary trends:
Federal classified employees, 1939— _____________________________
50

1

Federal classified employees' salary changes:
1950- 51 _______________________________________________________
1951- 52 _______________________________________________________
1951-54 _________________________________________________________
1954- 56 _______________________________________________________
1957 ___________________________________________________________
1955- 58 _______________________________________________________
1958-60 ________________________________________________________
1960-61 ________________________________________________________
1962-64 ________________________________________________________

6
9
12
15
20
22
26
30
37

Appendix: Scope and method of survey




47

Salary Trends:

Federal Classified Employees, 1939—50
salary rates occurred after June 1945. Con­
gressional action increased basic pay scales in
July 1945, in July 1946, and in July 1948; in
addition, a revision of the classification system in
October 1949 included some changes in these basic
scales. Up to June 1945, both basic pay scales
and average salary rates had risen only about
1 percent as a result of increased scales for certain
of the lower grades.3
Most of the rise in average salary rates which is
attributable to merit increases also occurred after
the war, although legislation in 1941 provided
uniform standards for merit increases in pay for
those remaining in the same position more than a
specified amount of time.4 During World War II,
force expansion and rapid turn-over, which re­
quired hiring large numbers of workers at mini­
mum grade rates, caused a decline of average pay
in some grades.5 After the war, reduced Federal
employment under a policy of seniority retention
augmented the effect of merit increases; conse­
quently, average salaries in each grade advanced
somewhat more than basic pay scales.

B a s i c s a l a r y s c a l e s of Federal classified employ­
ees increased 55 percent, on the average, between
August 1939 and July 1950. The merit increases
in pay within the same grade (occupational classi­
fication) added to the rise in basic scales raised
average salary rates 60 percent for this periou.
Average salaries showed an 83-percent increase;
this third measure of salary changes takes into
account the growth in the proportion of workers
at higher salary rates as well as basic scale and
merit increases. The rise in basic scales and salary
rates, August 1939 to July 1950, lagged behind
the increase in the Consumers’ Price Index; aver­
age salaries rose slightly more than the index.
Salaries discussed here are those of about
800,000 per annum employees subject to the
Federal classification acts; these workers perform
mainly clerical, administrative, and professional
functions.1 The present study is the third in a
series presenting indexes of wage and salary rates
of various groups of workers in nonmanufacturing
employment.2 For Federal classified workers, the
salary rate indexes reflect changes in basic salary
scales and merit increases within the same occupa­
tional classification. However, shifts in occu­
pational composition resulting from changes and
expansion in governmental activity during the
period covered by this repprt have affected average
salaries as distinguished from salary rates. Con­
sequently, indexes of average salaries, reflecting
tne combined effect of all these factors, are also
presented.

1 In addition the data include smaller groups in so-called subprofessional
categories and in craft, protective, and custodial jobs. The other groups of
Federal civilian employees, excluded from the present report, are the per
diem workers, postal employees, and the so-called “ blue collar” workers
whose earnings are filed by wage-board action.
^ Previous studies relate to policemen and firemen in large cities (Monthly
Labor Review, June 1950, p. 633), and urban public school teachers (Monthly
Labor Review, March 1951, p. 286).
3 Grades CPC (crafts, protective, custodial) 1-8 and P ? (subprofessional)
1 and 2.
* Prior to 1941, increases in pay to workers within the same grade were
determined by administrative action subject to certain limitations on their
effect on individual agency payroll costs. In 1941, they were made auto­
matic, providing a certain efficiency rating was obtained. For a description
of legislation and regulations affecting salaries and working conditions of
workers covered by the Classification Acts see Monthly Labor Review,
March 1951 (p. 296).
5 The contrast between the two periods illustrates the variation in the net
effect of these merit increases that occur from time to time depending on
whether Federal employment is expanded or contracted and on whether
there are opportunities for promotion. New workers or workers promoted
to new jobs are generally paid at the minimum scales for the grade and hence
the average salaries for a given grade will be reduced in periods of expansion.
In periods of contraction workers with greater seniority, who have received
more merit increases in pay than new workers, are retained; hence, average
salary rates will increase even in the absence of changes in basic pay scales.

Since the effect of either merit increases or
changes in grade composition on Federal workers’
pay will vary from period to period, depending on
rates of hiring and promotion, there is interest in
a measure of salaries unaffected by either of these
lactors. Accordingly, a Civil Service Commission
measure of basic salary changes alone is incor­
porated in table 1.

Basic Scales and Salary Rates
Practically all of the 55-percent rise in basic pay
scales and of the 60-percent increase in average



1

2

,

,
,

T a b l e 1.— Indexes o f basic pay scales average salary rates and average salaries o f workers covered by Federal Classification

Acts 1989-50
Average salary rates 1

Basic pay scales 1
Period

All
workers
100.0
101.1
133.8
133.8
148.5
148.5
154.6

Aug. 1939 (base)..........................................
June 30, 1945............. ...................................
July 1,1946....................................................
July 1, 1947....................................................
July 15,1948..................................................
July 1,1949....................................................
July 1,1950....................................................

Crafts,
protective,
custodial

All •
workers

100.0
110.1
146.9
146.9
168.3
168.3
176.0

General
schedule

100
3101
133
135
151
152
160

100.0
100.2
131.9
131.9
145.7
145.7
151.5

General
schedule

Average salaries *

Crafts,
protective,
custodial

100
3100
131
133
149
150
158

All
workers

100

Genera]
schedule

100

3 no

(<)

149
152
176
177
189

Crafts,
protective,
custodial

100
(<)

143
150
168
170
183

136
144
160
163
175

100
(<)

154
154
178
180
192

3
Estimated by assuming the same distribution of employees among grade 3
1
Merit increases in pay witbin the same grade, which affect the averageand steps within grades in 1939 as in 1945—i. e., by assuming that the change
salary-rate indexes, compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, have been
excluded from the basic-pay-scale indexes, compiled by the Civil Service
in basic pay scales and in average salary rates was the same during this period.
Commission. Both these index series exclude the effects of changes in the
It is known that during this period there was little or no increase in average
rates because of merit increases.
distribution of workers among grades.
* In addition to showing the effect of increases in basic salary scales and of
* Not available.
merit increases in pay within the same grade, these indexes are influenced by
shifts in the proportion of workers among grades.

The effect of merit raises on average salary
rates in the postwar period was overshadowed by
increases in basic pay scales, except between
mid-1946 and mid-1947 and again between mid1948 and mid-1949, when pay scales were not
changed. Between June 1945 and July 1946,
salary rates increased by nearly 32 percent almost
entirely because of 2 pay raises—effective July
1, 1945, and July 1, 1946, respectively. The rise
in the 1948 indexes was dominated by the uni­
form $330 increase in scales put into effect in the
first half of July 1948. By July 1, 1950, salaries
had risen approximately 5 percent more (8 index
points), primarily because of the Classification
Act of October 1949.
Although the principal objective of the classifi­
cation act was a realignment of salary scales, it

did provide increases in minimum base rates rang­
ing, in most cases, from $100 to $175% It also
added 3 grades to the top of the salary scale.
Over the entire 1945-50 period covered, all but
about a twelfth of the 58 percent rise in average
salary rates resulted from increased basic pay
scales.
Salaries have increased proportionately more
in the lower than in the higher grades. Most of
the legislation either specifically provided higher
percentage increases in pay for the lower than the
higher grades of classified employees or uniform
dollar increase in salaries regardless of grade;
the latter, of course, resulted in a higher percentage
increase for the lower salary levels. Thus, the
indexes for the crafts, protective, and custodial
group, whose salaries are at the lower end of

Indexes of Salaries of Classified Federal Workers, July 1950
AUGUST 1939-100
EZZ2I

Based on current dollars
Based on dollars deflated by Consumers' Price Index

AVERAGE SALARY RATES

BASIC PAY SCALES

100-

89 .

All Classified
Workers

88

General
Schedule




189

176

152

155

<

AVERAGE SALARIES

183
106

102

192

175
101
—

CPC

All Classified
Workers

General
Schedule

CPC

All Classified
Workers

General
Schedule

I

8— 100

CPC

See footnotes on table I

3

the scale (CPC), are higher than those for the
general schedule (GS). (See table 1.) Basic payscales for the “CPC” group rose 76 percent and
for the “GS” group (formerly clerical, adminis­
trative, fiscal, and professional workers) 52 percent,
between 1939 and 1950. Salary rate increases
for these groups averaged, respectively, 89 percent
and 58 percent.
Within each of the two broad groups, increases
for the lower salary grades were also greater,
percentage-wise, than for the higher levels. This
is illustrated for the clerical, administrative,
fiscal, and professional group by table 2, which
shows salary trends for 3 grades within the
General Schedule (GS-3, GS-9, GS-13). Between
1939 and 1950, average pay rose 70 percent for
grade GS-3, compared with less than 40 percent
for GS-13. Table 2 also shows that for CPC-2
(the lowest grade in which a substantial number
of workers are currently employed), pay nearly
doubled. Changes between 1939 and 1950 for
all GS and CPC grades are shown in table 3 •

T able 2.— Changes

in m inim um and average sa la ries 1 fo r
selected grades under Federal C lassification A cts 1 9 8 9 -5 0

Service and grade

,

August June Julyl, Julyl, Julyl5, Julyl, Julyl,
1949 1950
1939 1945 1946 1947 1948
Indexes (August 1939=100)

CPC-2:
Minimum salary rate.
Average salary1..........

100
100

111
(«)

156
151

156
153

187
183

187
183

196
198

Minimum salary rate.
Average salary1..........
OS-9:
Minimum salary rate.
Average salary1..........

100
100

100
<
*)

134
133

134
136

154
157

154
158

164
170

100
100

100
(»)

130
130

130
131

140
143

140
144

144
149

Minimum salary rate.
Average salary1..........

100
100

100
(*)

127
126

127
127

133
133

133
134

136
137

Dollars
CPC-2:
Minimum salary rate. 1,080
Averagesalary1
.......... 1,166

1,200
(*)

1,690
1,756

1,690
1,783

2,020
2,129

2,02Q
2,139

2,120
2,307

Minimum salary rate. 1,620
Average salary1.......... 1,683

1,620
(’)

2,168
2,238

2,168
2,287

2,498
2,638

2,498
2,659

2,650
2,866

Minimum salary rate. 3,200
Average salary1
......... 3,298

3,200
(’)

4,150
4,279

4,150
4,334

4,480
4,723

4,480
4,754

4,600
4,923

Minimum salary rate. 5,600
Average salary1.......... 5,793

5,600
(*)

7,102
7,300

7,102
7,345

7,432
7,727

7,432
7,752

7,600
7.931

1Average salaries were obtained by weighting each salary step within the
grade by the number of employees at that step. In other words, they
reflect the effect of increases in basic salary scales and of merit increases in
pay within the grade for each period.
* Average salary data for individual grades not available.

Average Salaries and Gross Earnings
Changes in the proportion of workers at various
grades within the classification system resulted in
Digitizeda greater rise in the index of average salaries than
for FRASER


was shown in the indexes of salary rates or basic
salary scales just described. As previously indi­
cated, the combined influence of rate increases
and changes in occupational or grade composition
advanced average salaries by 83 percent between
1939 and 1950. For each period for which data
are available, the rise in average salaries for the
entire group of workers covered by this report, was
greater than the change in salary rates alone.
During World War II, “ gross” earnings of Fed­
eral workers (that is, earnings including overtime
pay) also showed substantially different trends
from salary rates. During the period when salary
scales were stable, overtime pay became a major
source of additional earnings. The workweek for
employees covered by the Classification Act was
increased to 48 hours from December 1942 to
June 1945, with extra pay being provided for most
employees.^ A 44-hour week was widely sub­
stituted in July 19456 and the 40-hour week was
7
generally introduced in September 1945.8 It is
estimated that in June 1945, when the 48-hour
week was still in effect, overtime pay augmented
earnings of employees under the Classification
Act by roughly 20 percent.
From September 1945 through mid-1950, over­
time was paid only to a limited number of workers
in emergencies; thus, the recent trend in straighttime and gross earnings can be assumed to be
practically the same. Since hostilities started in
Korea, however, the amount of regularly scheduled
overtime work in some of the defense agencies has
increased.

Changes in “Real” Salaries
Average salaries of classified employees rose
slightly more than the Bureau of Labor Statistics’
Consumers’ Price Index over the period August
1939 to July 1950, but salary scales and rates (pay
for the same type of work) lagged behind living
costs. Salary scales and rates of classified em­
ployees deflated by the CPI, were only about
nine-tenths as high in July 1950 (the date of the
latest annual salary survey for Federal workers)
as they had been in 1939. Since that time, the
gap between the CPI and salary scales and rates
has been widened further by rising prices.
6 The workweek had been increased from 39 to 44 hours early in 1942 without
any increase in earnings. Those receiving basic salaries of over $5,000 were
not paid overtime; others received time and a half on that part of their salaries
up to $2,900.
?A t that time there was an increase in overtime rates.
8 The increases in salary scales made in 1945 and 1946 were intended at
least in part to compensate for the reduction in earnings by elimination of
overtime compensation.

4

T A B L E 3 . — C h a n g e s in m in im u m an d a v e r a g e s a l a r i e s 1 u n d e r the C la s s if ic a t io n A c t s , by g r a d e , 1939 an d 1945—
60

S e rv ic e and grad e

A ugust
1939

June
1945

— r a y " !;" " "
1946

Ju ly i ;
1947

Ju ly r s r "
1948

J u ly - T " * 1" " " J u l y 1,---1950
1949

Indexes (A ugust 1939=100)
G en eral Schedule:
---- U S^T:----------M inimum sa la r y ra te z ___________
A v e rag e sa la r y 1 _________________
G S-2:
M inimum sa la r y ra te „ __ __ _
_
A verag e sa la r y 1 _ _______ ______
G S-3:
M inimum s a la r y ra te __ __ __ __
A verag e s a l a r y 1 _ __ __ __ ------G S-4:
M inimum sa la r y ra te __
_
A v e rag e s a l a r y 1 _ __ __ ___
___
G S-5:
Minimum sa la r y ra te __ ____ __
A verag e s a la r y 1 _________________
G S-6:
Minimum sa la r y ra te __ __ __ _
_
A v e rag e s a l a r y 1 _ ____ ____ __
G S-7:
M inimum sa la r y ra te ____________
A v e rag e s a l a r y 1 _ _____________
G S-8:
M inimum sa la r y ra te ____________
A verag e s a la r y 1 _ ____ _________
G S-9:
M inimum sa la r y ra te ____________
A verag e s a l a r y 1 _ ____ _________
G S - 10:
M inimum s a la r y ra te ____ __ _
_
A v e rag e s a la r y 1 _________________
G S-11:
_
M inimum s a la r y ra te __ ____ _
____ _
_
A v e rag e sa la r y
GS- 12:
M inimum s a la r y ra te ____________
A v e rag e s a la r y 1 _________________
G S-13:
M inimum s a la r y ra te __________
A v e rag e s a l a r y 1 _ __ __ __ __ _
_
GS- 14:
Minimum s a la r y ra te ____________
A v e rag e sa la r y 1 _ __ _ ____ _
_
GS- 15:
M inimum sa la r y ra te __ __ __ __
A v erag e s a l a r y 1 _ __ ____ ______
C r a fts, P ro te c tiv e , and C u stod ial:
C P C -1 :
Minimum sa la r y ra te __ _________
A verag e s a la r y __ ____ __ __ ___
C P C - 2:
M inimum s a la r y ra te __ __ ____
A verag e sa la r y __________________
C P C - 3:
M inimum sa la r y ra te ____________
A verag e sa la r y __________________
C P C -4 :
Minimum sa la r y ra te __ _________
A v e rag e s a la r y __ __ __ __ ______
C P C - 5:
M inimum sa la r y ra te ____ ______
A verag e sa la r y
C P C -6 :
M inimum s a la r y ra te ____________
A v e rag e sa la r y _ _ _ _ _
C P C - 7:
M inimum sa la r y ra te ____________
A v e rag e s a la r y __________________
C P C - 8:
M inimum sa la r y ra te __ ____ __
A v e rag e sa la r y __ __ ____ __ _
_
C P C -9:
M inimum s a la r y ra te __
A v e rag e s a la r y __ _ _
C P C - 10:
M inimum sa la r y ra te
A v e rag e s a la r y __ ____ ____ __
See footnotes at end of table




100
100

107
(3)

149
151

149
152

177
179

177
180

190
193

100
100

100
(3)

136
135

136
138

159
162

159
163

170
177

100
100

100
(3)

134
133

134
136

154
157

154
158

164
170

100
100

100
(3 )

133
133

133
135

151
154

151
155

160
166

100
100

100
(3 )

132
132

132
136

149
154

149
154

155
162

100
100

100
(3 )

131
131

131
135

146
150

146
150

150
157

100
100

100
(3 )

131
130

131
134

143
148

143
149

147
154

100
100

100
(3 )

130
129

130
133

142
146

141
147

145
151

100
100

100
(3 )

130
130

130
131

140
143

140
144

144
149

100
100

100

129
129

129
131

139
141

139
142

143
146

100
100

100

129
128

129
130

138
140

138
140

142
144

100
100

100

128
127

128
128

136
136

136
137

139
141

100
100

100

127
126

127
127

133
133

133
134

136
137

100
100

100

(3)

126
123

126
124

131
130

131
130

135
134

100
100

100
(3)

125
118

125
118

129
122

129
122

131
125

100
100

120
(3 )

180
168

180
168

235
218

235
223

252
239

100
100

111
(3)

156
151

156
153

187
183

187
183

196
198

100
100

110
(3 )

152
148

152
150

179
177

179
179

188
192

100
100

114

(3)

153
154

153
157

178
181

178
182

186
194

100
100

112
(3)

150
149

150
153

172
176

172
177

178
186

100
100

111
(3)

147
149

147
151

167
172

167
174

173
184

100
100

110
(3 )

145
147

145
149

163
168

163
170

168
180

100
100

110
(3 )

145
147

145
150

161
167

161
169

170
180

100
100

100
(3 )

142
144

142
146

157
160

157
162

164
170

100
100

100
(3)

140
142

140
143

153
156

153
158

160
167

(3)

(3)
(3)
(3)

5
TABLE

3. — Changes

in m inim um and average s a l a r i e s

S e r v i c e and gra d e

A u gu s t
1939

1 under
June
1945

the C lassification A c ts , by grade,
—

1939 and 1945—50— Continued

------ C T y 15,
194 8

July r;— ------ July r,
1947
1946

July 1,
1949

July 1,
1950

D ollars
G e n e r a l Sch edu le:
G S-1:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rate ----------------------A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 -------------- ----------------G S-2:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y ra te
----------------------A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 ----------------------------------G S-3:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rate
----------------------A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 „ __ __ ___________
G S-4:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y ra te __ __ -------A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 _______________________
G S-5:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rate __ ___________
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 __ __ -------------- ----G S-6:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y ra te _______________
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 __ _____ __ _______
G S-7:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rat e __ __ _______
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 __ __ __ _____ ___
G S-8:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y ra te __ __ __ ___
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 _______________________
G S-9:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rate __ _____ __
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 __ _____
___
G S - 10:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rate _______________
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 __ __ __ __ „ _ *
_
G S - 11:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y ra te __ _____ ___
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 _______________________
G S - 12:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rat e _______________
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 „ __ __ __ _____
G S - 13:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rate _______________
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 _______________________
G S - 14:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rate _______________
A v erage salary 1
G S-15:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rate __ ___________
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 __ __ __ _____ ___
C r a f t s , P r o t e c t i v e , and C u s t od i al :
— C P C - T i ----------------------------------------------M i n i m u m s a l a r y ra te _______________
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 _______________________
C P C - 2:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rate _______________
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 _______________________
C P C - 3:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rate _______________
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 __ __ __ _____ ___
C P C -4:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rate
Average salary 1 _ _
C P C - 5:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rate
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 _______________________
C P C -6 :
M i n i m u m s a l a r y ra te
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 _______________________
C P C - 7:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rat e _______________
Average salary 1
C P C -8:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rate _______________
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 _______________________
C P C - 9:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rat e _______________
A v erage salary 1
C P C - 10:
M i n i m u m s a l a r y rat e _______________
A v e r a g e s a l a r y 1 _______________________

$ 1 ,180
1,223

$ 1 , 756
1, 843

$1,756
1, 858

$ 2 ,086
2, 189

$ 2 ,086
2,2 0 5

$ 2 ,240
2, 356

1,9 5 4
2, 016

1,954
2, 053

2, 28 4
2,4 0 7

2, 284
2,420

2 ,450
2, 63 9

2, 168
2, 2 3 8

2, 168
2 , 2 87

2 ,498
2, 6 36

2 ,4 9 8
2, 659

2, 65 0
2 , 866

2, 394
2,475

2, 394
2, 526

2, 724
2 , 880

2 , 724
2 , 897

2, 875
3, 103

2 , 645
2 , 772

2,6 4 5
2 , 853

2 , 975
3,2 2 7

2, 975
3, 23 8

3, 100
3,405

3, 021
3, 158

3,0 2 1
3, 255

3, 351
3, 626

3, 351
3, 625

3,450
3, 780

3, 397
3,5 2 7

3, 397
3 ,618

3, 727
4 ,011

3, 727
4 , 022

3, 825
4 , 154

3, 773
3,903

3, 773
4 , 021

4 , 103
4,417

4 , 103
4 ,431

4 , 200
4,5 5 3

4 , 150
4 ,279

4 , 150
4 , 334

4,480
4 , 723

4 ,480
4 , 754

4 , 600
4 , 923

4 , 526
4 ,672

4 , 52 6
4 , 728

4 , 856
5 ,100

4 , 856
5, 141

5,000
5,279

4 ,902
5, 091

4 ,9 0 2
5, 154

5,2 3 2
5, 546

5,232
5, 566

5,400
5, 734

5,905
6 , 107

5,905
6, 107

6,
6 , 539

6, 235
6, 584

6 ,400
6 , 759

7, 102
7, 300

7, 102
7, 345

7,4 3 2
7, 727

7,432
7, 752

7,600
7,931

8, 180
8,4 1 7

8, 180
8,473

8, 510
8, 875

8, 510
8,9 1 7

8, 800
9 , 150

(3 )

9 ,975
9,985

9 ,975
9,9 8 7

10,305
10,321

10,305
10,321

10,500
10,577

720
(3 J

1,080
1, 160

1 , 0 80
1,156

1,4 1 0
1,5 0 2

1,4 1 0
1,540

1,510
1,648

$1,260
(3 )

1,4 4 0
1,489

1,4 4 0

1,6 2 0
1,683

1,620

1,8 0 0
1, 867

1,800

2 , 000
2,0 9 9

2 , 000

2 , 300
2 ,414

2 , 300

2 ,600
2 , 704

2 , 600

2,9 0 0
3,0 2 0

2,900

3,2 0 0
3 ,298

3,200

3, 500
3 ,620

3 ,500

3, 800
3,974

3, 800

4 ,600
4 , 797

4 , 600

5, 600
5 , 793

5,600

6, 500
6 , 850

6 , 500

8,000
8,465

8,000

600
690

(3 )

(3 )

(3 )

(3 )

(3 )

(3 )

(3 )

(3 )

(3 )

(3 )

(3 )

(3 )

(3 )

235

1,0 8 0
1, 166

1,200
(3 )

1,690
1, 756

1,690
1, 783

2 , 020
2, 129

2 , 020
2, 139

2, 120
2, 30 7

1,2 0 0
1,2 9 0

1,320
(3 )

1,822
1,904

1,822
1,9 2 9

2 , 152
2 , 282

2, 152
2 , 303

2, 25 2
2 ,477

1,3 2 0
1,400

1,500
(3 )

2 ,020
2 , 159

2, 02 0
2, 159

2, 350
2 , 540

2 , 350
2 , 549

2 ,450
2, 710

1,500
1,5 8 0

1,680
(3 )

2, 2 44
2, 354

2 ,244
2 ,415

2 , 574
2 , 77 8

2 , 574
2 , 793

2, 67 4
2 ,943

1,6 8 0
1,721

1,860
(3 )

2,469
2 ,560

2,4 6 9
2 ,607

2 , 799
2,964

2,7 9 9
2 ,9 9 7

2, 900
3, 163

1,860
1,918

2 ,040
(3 )

2,6 9 5
2, 812

2 ,695
2, 867

3,025
3,2 1 9

3,0 2 5
3,2 6 9

3, 125
3,460

2 , 000
2 , 118

2 , 200
(3 )

2, 896
3, 114

2,896
3, 184

3, 226
3 , 52 7

3,2 2 6
3, 575

3,400
3 , ‘812

2 ,300
2 ,442

2 ,300
(3 )

3, 272
3,507

3,272
3, 56 7

3,602
3, 911

3,602
3 ,960

3, 775
4 , 161

2 , 600
2 , 709

2 , 600

3, 6 48
3, 850

3,648
3, 886

3,978
4 , 222

3,9 7 8
4,291

4 , 150
4 , 523

(3 )

.

A v e r a g e s a l a r i e s w e r e obt ained by we ighting e a c h s a l a r y step within the gr ad e by the n u m b e r of e m p l o y e e s at that
st ep .
In ot he r w o r d s , they r e f l e c t the ef f e c t of i n c r e a s e s in b a s i c s a l a r y s c a l e s and of m e r i t i n c r e a s e s in pay within the
grad e f o r e a c h p e r io d .
2 Th e m i n i m u m w a s co m p u t ed by w ei ght ing eq u al ly the ba s e pay f o r ea c h of the thr ee g r a d e s ( S P - 1 and 2, C A F - l )
e
Digitized which 3w e rv e rca g e b sn ea r yunder the G e n e r a l Schedd e s. not a v a il a b l e .
for FRASER o m i a l d data f o r individual g r a ule
A



F e d e ra l C la s s ifie d E m p lo y e e s ’ S a la ry C h a n g e s, 1 9 5 0 — 51

G e n e r a l s a l a r y i n c r e a s e s legislated by the
Eighty-second Congress raised the basic salary
scales for Federal classified workers by 10 per­
cent between July 1950 and July 1951. Because
of an expansion in Federal employment during
the period, two other measures of salary change
for these employees—average salary rates and
average salaries—showed smaller increases, 8.8
and 7.8 percent, respectively. (The indexes re­
flecting these percentage changes are shown in
table 1.) The effect of the rise in basic pay scales
on average salary rates was offset in part by a re­
duction in the proportion of workers receiving
more than the minimum scale for their jobs. Av­
erage salaries were affected by these two factors
and by an increase in the proportion of workers
at some of the lower grades or occupations within
the classified service.
The pay raise voted by Congress on October 24,
1951, was retroactive to the first pay period in
the 1952 fiscal year—in the majority of cases, to
July 8, 1951. Under the act the salary for each
pay step within a grade was raised by 10 percent
of the minimum for the grade. A flat $300 in­
crease was given in grades for which the minimum
was below $3,000; where the minimum was above
$8,000, the increase was $800.
If this pay scale increase had not been effective
during the year ending in July 1951, both average
salary rates and average salaries would have de­
creased because of the expansion in the number
of classified employees. Between July 1950, the
termination date of the previous report on salary
trends for Federal workers, and July 1951, the
number of full-time workers subject to the Class­
ification Acts increased by about 200,000 to a
total of more than a million. Nearly 185,000 of
the new employees were hired for positions cov­
ered by the “general schedule,” which includes
clerical, administrative, and professional work.
More than three-fifths of these (about 114,000)
were placed in three of the lowest pay grades (GS2, 3, and 4). The consequence was an expansion
in the proportion of workers employed at these
job levels from 43.7 percent to 46.2 percent of all
classified workers. The greater number of work­
ers in these pay grades near the bottom of the




Federal scale, therefore, tended to reduce average
salaries for all classified workers considered as a
group. Moreover, new employees in the Federal
service and those who are promoted to more re­
sponsible positions are, as a rule, started at the
minimum pay rate of the grade in which they are
placed. Consequently, during periods of expan­
sion, the percentage of employees at the lower
steps within a pay grade grows and the average
salary for thef grade is likely to decrease.

A 20-percent expansion (20,000 employees) oc­
curred in the “crafts, protective, and custodial
schedule” during the year ending in July 1951.
Not only was the proportionate employment ex­
pansion somewhat smaller for these employees
than for clerical, administrative, and professional
workers, but the change in the distribution of these
T a b l e 1.— In d e x es o f ba sic p a y sca les , average sa la ry ra tes,
a n d average sala ries o f em p lo y e e s covered b y F ed era l C la s­
sifica tion A c t s , 1 9 8 9 - 6 1

Basic pay scales*
Period

All
em­
ploy­
ees

as

Average salary
rates1

All
em­
CPC ploy­
ees

as

Average salaries *

All
em­
CPC ploy­
ees

as

CPC

August 1939-100
August 1939___
June 30,1945_
_
July 1,1946___
July 1,1947___
July 15,1948.__
July 1, 1949___
July 1,1950____
July 8,1951____

100.0
101.1
133.8
133.8
148.5
148. 5
154.6
170.1

100.0
100.2
131.9
131.9
145.7
145.7
151.5
166.5

100.0 100 100 100 100 100 100
110.1 *101 *100 •110 < )
<
<
*)
0)
146.9 133
131 149 143 136 154
144 154
146.9
135 133 152 150
151
149 176 168 160 178
168.3
180
168.3, 152 160 177 170 163
175 192
176.0
160 158 189 183
174 172 209 198 188 214
195.0
Average 1947-49-100

August 1939___
June 30, 1945_
_
July 1, 1946.......
July 1, 1947____
July 15,1948---July 1, 1949.......
July 1,1950___
July 8,1951____

t

69.6
70.4
93.2
93.2
103.4
103.4
107.7
11&5

70.9
71.0
93.5
93.5
103.3
103.3
107.4
118.0

62.0
68.3
91.1
91.1
104.4
104.4
109.2
121.0

68
*69
91
92
103
104
110
119

69
*69
91
92
103
104
110
119

64
60
58
61
*65 (<)
(«)
(<)
87
89
88
90
92
92
90
90
104
105 103 103
105 104 104
105
112 112 112
113
124 121
121
125

1 Merit increases in pay within the same grade, which affect the average sal­
ary rate indexes, compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, have been excluded
from the basic pay scale indexes compiled by the Civil Service Commission.
Both these index series exclude the effects of changes in the distribution of
employees among grades.
* In addition to showing the effect of increases in basic salary scales and of
merit increases in pay within the same grade, these indexes are influenced
by shifts in the proportion of employees among grades.
* Estimated by assuming the same distribution of employees among grades
and steps within grades in 1939 as in 1945, i. e., by assuming that the change
in basic pay scales and in average salary rates was the same during this period.
It is known that except for grades 1 through 8 in the CPC schedule and the
first grade of the present general schedule there was little or no increase In
average rates between 1939 and 1945.
* Not available.

6

7
T able 2.—

P ercentage increase in basic p a y scales a nd in
average sala ry rates f o r F ed eral classified e m p lo y e e s ,
b y schedule a nd grade , 1 9 5 0 - 5 1

Percentage increase
Schedule and
grade
Basic pay Average
salary
scales 1
rates *

Basic pay Average
salary
scales 1
rates 1

Crafts , pro­
tective, custodial

General
schedule

All grades.......
1________
2..........
3..............
4.............
5________
6________
7..... .........
8...............
9........ ......
10............
11.............
12.............
13.............
14.............
15.............
16.............
17.............
18.............

Percentage Increase
Schedule and
grade

9.9
13.1
11.7
10.6
9.7
9.2
9.2
9.2
9.3
9.4
9. 5
9.5
9.5
9.6
8.8
7.7
7.1
6.5
5.7

8.7
10.2
8.4
8.8
9.5
8.1
8.8
8.2
8.5
8.6
8.8
8.7
8.9
9.1
8.0
6.3
7.2
6.2
5.7

All grades___
1________
2........ ......
3.. ____
4...............
5________
6________
7_______
8________
9________
10_______

10.8
19.1
12.9
12.1
11.1
10.5
9.6
8.9
8.9
9.0
9.1

10.3
13.5
13.5
12.3
11.0
7.2
8.4
9.1
8.7
9.6
10.1

1 Basic pay scales are unaffected by merit increases or employment changes.
1
For individual grades, the average salary rates and average salaries are
the same. The two concepts differ only when applied to averages for all
classified employees or for all grades within one schedule (GS or CPC) since
they differ only in the weight assigned to the various grades in computing
these group averages. Both measures are affected by changes in pay scales
and merit increases in pay.

1951 than in July 1950. Their basic salary scales
and average salary rates increased 10.8 and 10.3
percent, respectively.
The minimum and maximum dollar limits to
the increase in pay scales provided in the 1951
legislation resulted in proportionately greater
and smaller pay increases for workers at the bot­
tom and the top of the salary scale, respectively,
than for the bulk of the classified workers. More­
over, since the increase in pay for most grades
was 10 percent of the minimum pay for the grade,
the percentage increase in basic pay scales for most
grades was somewhat less—between 9 and 10 per­
cent; the precise increase varied from grade to
grade, primarily because of differing proportions
of workers at various pay steps within the grade.
T able 3.—

C hanges in m in im u m a nd average sa la ry rates 1
f o r selected grades u n d er F ed era l C lassification A cts ,
1 9 S 9 -5 1

Service, grade,
and type of
salary rate

Au­
gust
1939

June July July July July July July
1945 1,1946 1, 1947 15,1948 1,1949 1,1950 8, 1951
Indexes (August 1939= 100)

workers among steps within pay grades also dif­
fered: the proportion of employees at higher pay
steps rose in half of the 10 “CPC” grades; in the
other half the proportion at lower steps increased
during the year. The greatest employment gain
was recorded in the CPC-5 grade which increased
by almost three-fifths.
The salary trend for all classified workers closely
parallels that for the general schedule, which in­
cludes almost nine-tenths of all Federal classified
workers. Basic salary scales for this general sched­
ule rose 9.9 percent; average salary rates, 8.7 per­
cent; and average salaries, 7.3 percent over the
year. In each except two of the highest pay
grades (GS-16 and GS-18), an increase in the
number of new workers with a relatively short
period of service (resulting in a decline in the aver­
age length of service in the grade) caused average
salary rates to rise less than basic pay scales. Be­
cause average length of service increased in grade
GS-16, the rise in salary rates was slightly higher
than the increase in basic pay scales. Since grade
GS-18 has only one rate, there can be no difference
in the two measures. In the case of grade GS-2
average salary rates rose 3.3 percentage points, or
about a fourth, less than basic pay scales (table 2).
Average salaries for crafts, protective, and cus­
todial workers were 11.1 percent higher in July



CPC-2:
Minimum.
Average.—
GS-3:
MinimumAverage.—
GS-9:
Minimum.
Average.—
GS-13:
Minimum.
Average.—

100
100

111
(*)

156
151

156
153

187
183

187
183

196
198

224
225

100
100

100
(>)

134
133

134
136

154
157

154
158

164
170

182
185

100
100

100
(*)

130
130

130
131

140
143

140
144

144
149

158
162

100
100

100
(*)

127
126

127
127

133
133

133
134

136
137

149
149

Indexes (average 1947-49=100)
CPC-2:
Minimum
Average.—
GS-3:
Minimum.
Average. —
GS-9:
Minimum.
Average.—
GS-13:
MinimumAverage—

56
58

<*)

88
87

88
88

106
106

106
106

111
114

127
130

68
67

68
<
*)

91
89

91
91

105
105

105
105

112
113

124
123

73
72

73
<>
*

95
94

95
94

102
103

102
104

105
107

115
117

76
76

76
(*)

97
96

97
97

102
102

102
102

104
105

114
114

63

Dollars
CPC-2:
Minimum.
Average.—
GS-3:
Minimum.
Average. —
GS-9:
Minimum.
Average.—
GS-13:
Minimum.
Average...

1,080
1,166

1,200
(*)

1,690
1,756

1,690
1,783

2,020
2,129

2,020
2,139

2,120
2,307

2,420
2,618

1,620
1,683

1,620
<)
*

2,168
2, 238

2,168
2,287

2,498
2,638

2,498
2,659

2.650
2,866

2,950
3,119

3,200
3,298

3,200
<>
*

4,150
4,279

4,150
4,334

4,480
4,723

4,480
4,754

4,600
4,923

5,060
5,346

5,600
5,793

5,600
(’ )

7,102
7,300

7,102
7,345

7,432
7,727

7,432
7,752

7,600
7,931

8,360
8,652

1
Average salary rates were obtained by weighting each salary step within
the grade by the number of employees at that step. In other words, they
reflect the effect of increases in basic salary scales and of merit increases in
pay within the grade for each period. As indicated in footnote 2, table 2,
average salaries and average salary rates are identical.
* Average salary rate data for individual^grades not available.

8
The greater rise in basic salary scales than in
other measures of salaries during 1950-51 con­
trasted sharply with the trend reported during
previous years.1 Over the entire period from 1939
to July 1951, basic salary scales rose 70 percent
while average salary rates (table 3) advanced 74
percent and over-all salaries increased 98 percent
(table 1).
Average salaries of classified employees and the
Consumers’ Price Index for moderate-income
families in large cities increased by the same ratio
between July 1950 and July 1951. Basic pay
scales and average salary rates showed a slight
gain over prices during the same period. For the
entire span from 1939 to July 1951, however,
average salaries rose slightly more than living
costs but average salary rates and basic pay
scales did not keep pace as shown in the following
indexes. From July to December 1951, prices
showed a further rise of nearly 2 percent or about
3.5 index points.

It is possible that there was a similar development during the early World
War II period when Federal employment expanded sharply; at that time
average salary rates may have actually declined, but detailed salary infor­
mation is not available for those years.




B a s ic p a y scales 1

Indexes (A u gu st 19S9—100)
A U Federal
General
CPC
classified
schedule
schedule
em ployees

Actual___________________
Deflated by CPI,2 July 1951-

170. 1
91. 2

166. 5
89.2

195.0
104.5

A v er a g e s a la r y rates 3
Actual___________________
Deflated by CPI,2 July 1951.

174
93

172
92

209
112

A v era g e sa la ries 4
Actual___________________
Deflated by CPI,2 July 1951.

198
106

188
101

214
115

1Indexes show the effect of changes in pay scales only. The effects of
merit increases in pay within the same grade and of changes in the distribution of employees among grades were eliminated by applying identical weights
to each pay step within a grade in successive periods.
* The Consumers' Price Index was 186.6 in July 1951. Average 1939 was
used as the base.
* Indexes are affected by changes in salary scales and merit increases. The
effect of changes in the proportion of employees at various grades was nulli­
fied by applying the same employment weights to average salaries in a grade
in successive years.
4 In addition to showing the effect of increases in pay scales and of merit
increases in pay within the same grade, indexes are influenced by shifts in
the proportions of employees among grades.

No changes in method were introduced in this
supplement to the basic study of salary trends for
Federal classified employees. Two series of
indexes are presented, however, for each of the
salary measures. One is computed on a 1939 base
for comparison with the indexes previously
published, and the other uses an average 1947-49
base in accordance with the current Governmental
policy of changing indexes to this new base
wherever possible.

F e d e ra l C la s s ifie d E m p lo y e e s ’ S a la ry C h a n g e s, 1951— 52

schedule, merit increases in pay raised average
salary rates; the change amounted to $3 in grades
4 and 9 and to as much as $28 in grade IQ.1 In

B a s i c s a l a r y s c a l e s of Federal employees covered
by the Classification Acts were not changed during
the year July 1951 to July 1952. But merit or in­
grade salary increases over the same period did
raise average pay slightly. This rise in average
pay, however, was only two-tenths of 1 percent,
because of the turnover in a number of pay classi­
fications; the lower amounts paid for merit in­
creases in some grades largely offset the higher
amounts paid in others. Shifts in the proportion
of employees performing various types of work,
together with the merit increases, raised salaries
of Federal classified workers by an average of
2.1 percent.
This average rise of 2.1 percent resulted, in part,
from the addition of 31,000 professional and
clerical employees (paid under the general sched­
ule) and a reduction of approximately 3,000 em­
ployees in the crafts, protective, and custodial
group (the CPC schedule). Workers in the
second group are at the lower end of the Federal
pay scale. Moreover, within each of the groups
the number of higher-paid workers expanded
proportionately more than that of lower-paid
workers, with a resultant rise in average salaries.
Among the general schedule workers, employment
declined in grades 1 and 2, but increased in grades
3 to 15; and among the CPC workers, employ­
ment dropped in grades 2 to 5, but expanded in
the higher grades. This situation contrasts with
the previous year when most of the 200,000
workers added to the Federal classified service
were hired at the lower grades.
The rise in the proportion of workers in every
general schedule grade from 3 to 15 caused a 2percent advance in average salaries of all clerical
and professional workers grouped together. About
56,000 were added to these grades, compared with
a reduction of 25,000 in grades 1 and 2.
Although there was essentially no change in
merit or length-of-service pay increases when all
general schedule grades were averaged together
(as measured by average salary rates in table 1),
length-of-service adjustments had significant ef­
fects on salaries in individual grades. (See table
2.) In the first 10 pay grades within the general




T a b l e 1.— In d e x e s o f basic p a y scales, average sa la ry rates
a nd average salaries o f em p lo yees
C la ssifica tion A c t s , 1 9 8 9 - 5 2

covered

by

F ed era l

[Average 1947-49-100]

All employees

General sched­
ule

Crafts, protec­
tive, custodial

All employees

General sched­
ule

69.6
70.4
93.2
93.2
103.4
103.4
107.7
118.5
118.5

70.9
71.0
93.5
93.5
103.3
103.3
107.4
118.0
118.0

62.0
68.3
91.1
91.1
104.4
104.4
109.2
121.0
121.0

68
>69
91
92
103
104
110
119
119

69
>69
91
92
103
104
110
119
119

60
>65
89
90
105
105
113
124
125

61
(4
)
88
92
103
104
112
121
124

64
(4
)
87
92
103
104
112
121
123

Crafts, protec­
tive, custodial

Crafts, protec| tive, custodial

August 1939___
June 30, 1945__
July 1, 1946___
July 1, 1947___
July 15, 1948-...
July 1, 1949___
July 1, 1950___
July 8,1951___
July 1, 1952.......

Average salaries >

General sched­
ule

Period

Average salary
rates *

All employees

Basic pay scales i

58
(4
)
90
90
104
105
112
125
127

1 Merit increases in pay within the same grade, which affect the average
salary rate indexes, compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, have been
excluded from the basic pay scale indexes compiled by the Civil Service
Commission. Both the basic pay scale and average salary rate indexes
exclude the effects of changes in the distribution of workers among grades.
* In addition to showing the effect of increases in basic salary scales and of
merit increases in pay within the same grade, these indexes are influenced
by shifts in the proportions of workers among grades.
1 Estimated by assuming the same distribution of employees among grades
and steps within grades in 1945 as in 1939. Since it is known that, during
this period, there was little or no increase in average rates because of merit
increases, it was reasonable to assume that the change in basic pay scales and
average salary rates was virtually the same.
4Not available.

contrast, average salaries decreased in grades
GS-11 to GS-15, which include about 1 out of 10
workers in this schedule. These decreases in aver­
age salaries in the upper grades were progressively
greater with each higher grade.2*

1 Actually the greatest increase in length of service occurred in grade 2,
although the $25 average increase in this grade was not the largest recorded.
Merit or length-of-service increases for the first four grades are $80 compared
with $125 for GS-5 to GS-10, and $200 for most of the upper grades. The
qualifying period for a merit or lengtb-of-servloe increase is 12 months for all
CPC grades and for grades GS-1 to GS-10; for higher grades it is 18 months.
2 Because grades 16,17, and 18 are subject to limitations not applicable to
the other grades within the schedule, they are excluded from the general
discussion.

9

10
1 o f em p lo ye es
u n d er the Federal C la ssification A c t s , b y grade , 1 9 5 1 - 5 2

T a b l e 2.— C hanges i n average sa la ry rales

Schedule and grade

Average annual
salary rate

Changes in average
salary rate, 1951
to 1952

1951
General Schedule:
Grade 1 ................................
Grade 2..................................
Grade 3.................................
Grade 4.................................
Grade 5.................................
Grade 6.................................
Grade 7.................................
Grade 8.................................
Grade 9.................................
Grade 10................................
Grade 11................................
Grade 12..... ..........................
Grade 13................................
Grade 14... ...........................
Grade 15................................
Crafts, protective, and custodial:
Grade 1.................................
Grade 2................ ................
Grade 3........................... ......
Grade 4................................
Grade 5............. ....................
Grade 6.................................
Grade 7...................................
Grade 8.................................
Grade 9..................................
Grade 10................................

1952

$2,596
2,861
3,119
3.398
3,681
4,111
4,495
4,942
5.316
5,741
6.230
7,360
a 652
9,880
11,245

$2,600
2,886
3.126
3,401
3,703
4,123
4,503
4.919
5,349
5,769
6,220
7.344
a 634
9,855
11,180

+0.2
+.9
+.2
+• 1
+ .6
+.3
+ .2
+.1
+.1
+ .5
-.2
-.2
-.2
-.3
-.6

+4
+25
+7
+3
+22
+12
+8
+7
+3
+28
-10
-16
-18
-25
-65

1,870
2.618
2,782
3,008
3 154
a 428
3.776
4,145
4.559
4.978

1,955
2,637
2.805
3.037
3,193
3,435
3.794
4.175
4,582
5,017

+4.5
+ .7
+ .8
+1.0
+1.2
+.2
+ .5

+85
+19
+23
+29
+39

Percent

+ .7

+ .5
+.8

Dollars

+7

+18
+30
+23
+39

» Average salary rates were obtained by weighting each salary stop within
the grade by the number of employees at that step. In other words, the
change in average salary rates reflects the effect of any legislative Increases in
basic salary scales and of in-grade merit increases in pay.

Average salaries of crafts, protective, and cus­
todial workers rose 1.5 percent. About half of this
increase was due to the relatively greater number
of workers in the higher classifications (grade 6
and above) in 1952 than in 1951—6,000 fewer
workers in grades 2 to 5 and about 3,000 more in
the upper grades. The rest of the increase was
due to merit or length-of-service increases.
For the entire crafts, protective, and custodial
service, merit pay raises advanced average sal­
aries by 0.7 percent. Salaries in each grade
were higher in July 1952 than in July 1951, since
workers had longer service in each of these grades
than they had in the earlier year. Employees
in CPC-5 and CPC-10 showed the largest pay




advance ($39) of any group in which substantial
numbers were employed (CPC-2 to 10). As a
result of the addition of 1,800 new employees to
CPC-6, the $7 annual increase was below that for
any other CPC grade.

Changes Since 1939

Between 1939 and July 1952, legislative in­
creases in the basic pay scales of Federal classified
workers amounted to 70.1 percent. Length-ofservice or merit pay raises resulted in a further
increase of about 4 percent in average salary rates
over the same period. Changes in occupational
structure also had a considerable effect on average
salaries. The proportion of clerical, administra­
tive, and professional employees (whose salaries
are higher on the average than those of crafts,
custodial, and protective workers) rose during the
13-year period from three-fourths to almost ninetenths of all classified workers; moreover, within
the GS schedule, the proportion of employees in
higher-pay grades also rose. Adding the effects
of these changes in occupational structure to those
of the legislative (basic-salary) and length-ofservice pay increases, average salaries of Federal
workers rose by 102 percent between 1939 and
1952. (See chart.)
Over the same period the Consumer Price
Index rose 92 percent. Thus, only the average
salary index kept pace with rising prices over the
13-year period, having risen 5 percentage points
more than the CPI. In “real” terms (the dollar
increase reduced by the change in the Consumer
Price Index), basic pay scales and average salary
rates of Federal classified workers declined 11.4
and 9.4 percent, respectively, between 1939 and
mid-1952.

11
Percent Changes in Salaries of Federal Classified Employees and in Consumer Prices,1August 1939 to Specified
Dates2




F e d e ra l C la s s ifie d E m p lo y e e s ’ S a la ry C h a n g e s, 1 95 1 — 5 4

On January 11, 1955, the President of the United
States sent messages to Congress proposing salary
adjustments for major groups of Federal civilian
employees. The increases proposed for Classifi­
cation Act employees would average about 5 per­
cent, with relatively greater gains for higher
salaried workers designed to offset in part the pre­
vious narrowing of pay differentials. For postal
employees, raises would average about 6.5 per­
cent including an immediate 5-percent increase
in basic salary rates and a new salary plan designed
to offer “incentives for advancement” and “higher
pay for more difficult and responsible work.”
These proposals would affect more than 900,000
workers paid under the Classification Act and over
400,000 workers in the postal field service. The
proposed legislation also included employees cov­
ered by the Foreign Service Act and employees of
the Veterans Administration Department of
Medicine and Surgery.
This article summarizes recent trends in salaries
for Federal workers paid under the Classification
Act,1 including clerical, administrative, and pro­
fessional employees and some custodial, protective,
and maintenance workers. The Classification
Act does not cover other groups of Federal em­
ployees such as those working in navy yards or at
certain Army and Air Force installations whose
rates of pay are determined by wage boards.1
Salary Trends

The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes three
separate measures of earnings of Federal Classifica­
tion Act workers. (See table 1.) These are
designed to isolate the effects of the three principal
factors that affect their average pay, namely,
statutory changes in basic pay scales, average
length of service within a given grade, and the
proportion of workers performing various jobs
and hence classified in each of the several pay
grades.




July 1951 to July 1954. Basic pay scales have
remained unaltered since July 8, 1951, the effective
date of the most recent increase in salary scales
enacted by the Congress for classified and postal
employees.
Average salary rates, which measure the com­
bined effect of any increases in basic salary scales
resulting from legislation and of merit or length
of service changes in pay within the same occupa­
tion or grade, increased 2 percent between July
1951 and July 1954. At least in part this rise
resulted from the reduction of 61,500 in the num­
ber of Federal Classification Act employees which
occurred over this period.2 Since the separated
workers are customarily those with the least service
or tenure, their dismissal in substantial numbers
tends to raise the average length of service of
workers remaining within a job or grade and hence
the proportion who have received periodic withingrade pay increases.
Average salaries are affected not only by legis­
lation and merit increases but by changes in the
proportion of workers among the various pay
grades. They rose 6.6 percent in the 3-year period.
This change resulted from increases in the pro­
portion of workers in most grades who had received
in-grade pay increases and of the decline in the
proportion of workers in the lower pay grades
(GS-1 to GS-3; see table 2).
Merit increases between 1951 and 1954 raised
average salaries from 1 to 3 percent in the general
schedule grades up through GS-10 except in
grades GS-5 and GS-2, for which the increases
were 3.6 and 3.3 percent, respectively. In grades

1 See The Government’s Industrial Employees: I. Extent of Employ­
ment, Status, Organization; and, II. Consultation, Bargaining and Wage
Determination, Monthly Labor Review, January 1954 (p. 1) and March
1954 (p. 249).
2 The number increased 28,000 from July 1951 to July 1952 then declined
89,000 during the next 2 years.

12

13
T able 1.—

In d e x e s o f basic p a y sca les , average sa la ry ra tes , a n d average sala ries
A c ts, 1989—
54.

1 o f em p lo ye es

covered b y F ed era l C la ssification

[A verage 1947-49=100]

P eriod

A ll em ­
ployees

A u g u st 1939.................................................................
Ju n e 30, 1945..............................................................
J u l y 1, 1946..................................................................
J u l y 1,1947......... ........................................................
Ju ly 15, 1948................................................................
J u l y 1,1949.................................................................
J u l y 1, 1950..............................................................J u l y 8 ,1951..................................................................
J u l y 1, 1952..................................................................
J u l y 'l , 1953.................................................................
Ju ly 1, 1 9 5 4 ................................................................

69.6
70.4
93.2
93.2
103.4
103.4
107.7
118.5
118.5
118.5
118.5

G eneral
schedule

A v erage salaries

A v erage salary rate s

B a sic p a y scales
C rafts, pro­
tectiv e,
cu sto d ial
62.0
68.3
91.1
91.1
104.4
104.4
109.2
121.0
121.0
121.0
121.0

70.9
71.0
93.5
93.5
103.3
103.3
107.4
118.0
118.0
118.0
118.0

A ll em ­
p loyees
68.2
> 6 9 .0
90.6
92.3
103.5
104.2
109.6
119.3
119.6
120.7
121.8

G eneral
schedule
69.3
> 6 9 .4
90.8
92.5
103.5
104.0
109.4
118.8
119.0
120.0
121.1

C rafts, pro­
tectiv e,
cu sto dial
59.5
*6 5 .5
88.8
90.3
104.4
105.3
112.2
123.8
124.7
126.1
127.3

A ll em ­
ployees
61.4
(»)
87.7
92.3
103.1
104.6
112.6
121.4
124.0
127.1
129.4

G eneral
schedule

C rafts, pro­
tectiv e,
cu sto d ial
58.7

64.2
0)

87.5
92.6
103.0
104.5
112.3
120.6
123.0
126.3
128.8

(J)

90.2
90.2
104.3
105.4
112.8
125.3
127.2
129.1
129.3

* B a sic p a y scales reflect o n ly sta tu to ry changes in salaries, w hile average salary rates show in a d d itio n the effect o f m erit or in-grade salary increases. A v er­
age salaries m easure the effect n o t on ly of sta tu to ry changes in b asic p a y scales an d in-grade sala ry increases b u t th e effect of changes in the proportion of w orkers
em p lo y ed in the v ario u s p a y grades.
* E stim a te d b y a ssu m in g the sam e d istrib u tio n o f em ployees am on g g rad es an d step s w ith in grad es in 1945 a s in 1939. Since there w as little or no increase in
average rate s because of m erit in creases d u rin g th is period, it w as assu m ed th a t the change in b asic p a y scales a n d average sala ry rates w as v irtu a lly the sam e.
* N o t av ailab le.

August 1989 to July 1954,

Statutory changes in
pay increased basic salary scales for Federal
Classification Act employees by 70 percent from
August 1939 to July 1954. These increases in
basic scales, combined with merit or in-grade
changes in pay, brought average salary rates 78.5
percent above 1939. Because of a decline in the
proportion of workers in the lower pay grades
(notably, in grades GS-1 and GS-2 and CPC-1,
CPC-2, and CPC-3), average salaries for all
classified workers rose by 111 percent from 1939
to mid-1954; for professional, clerical, and ad­
ministrative employees covered by the general
schedule, average salaries rose by about 100

GS-11 to GS-14, merit increases amounted to less
than 1 percent; in grade GS-15, an 0.4 percent
decline in average salaries occurred. In most of
the CPC grades the increase in average salary
rates between 1951 and 1954 ranged between 2
and 3 percent (table 3).
These changes in salaries of Federal classified
employees compare with the rise of 3 to 4 percent
in the Consumer Price Index of the Bureau of
Labor Statistics.3 Among large groups of workers
in private employment, weekly and hourly pay
of factory production workers rose by about 15
percent from July 1951 to late 1954. Similarly,
the increase in average weekly salaries of women
office clerical workers in 6 large cities studied by
the BLS varied from approximately 13 to 19 per­
cent from early 1951 to early 1954.4
T able 2.—

3 T h e increase w as 3.9 percent from J u l y 1951 to J u l y 1954 an d 3.1 percent
from Ju l y 1951 to Ja n u a r y 1955.
4 See Salaries of W om en in Office W ork, 1949 to 1954, M o n th ly L a b o r R e ­
view , S eptem b er 1954 (p. 972).

P e rc e n t d istribu tion o f e m p lo y m e n t o f general schedule e m p lo ye es b y grade, selected p e r io d s, 1 9 8 9 - 5 4
Item

T o ta l, general schedule:
N u m b e r.......... ........................................................................................................
P erc e n t..................................................................................................................
G S - 1 —.............................................................................................................................
G S - 2 ................................................... ..............................................................................
G S - 3 .................................................................................................................................
G S -5 a n d G S - 6 .......................................................................................................... ..
G S - 7 an d G S -8 ............................................................................................ ...............
G S -9 a n d G S —
10!_____________________________________________________
G S -1 1 ...............................................................................................................................
G S -1 2 to G S -1 5 ...........................................................................................................
G S -1 6 to G S -1 8 ...........................................................................................................
* L e ss th an 0.1 percent.




A u g u st 1939 Ju l y 1,1946 J u l y 1,1950 J u l y 8,1951 J u l y 1,1952 J u l y 1,1953 J u l y 1,1954

234,067
100.0

893,653
100.0

701,824
100.0

13.1
18.1
14.7
11.5
17.2
10.4
6 .8
3.8
4.4

2.5
19.3
22.8
13.6
13.9
11.6
7 .6
4.0
4 .7

1.8
14.5
20.6
14.8
14.8
12.3
9 .2
5.1
6.9
0)

885,925
100.0
1.416.6
21.8
13.9
14.5
11.7
8 .7
4.8
6 .6
0)

917,173
100.0

862,556
100.0

836,536
100.0

0 .9
13.7
22.1
14.7
14.8
12.6
9 .0
5.0
7.1
.1

0 .8
12.1
21.5
15.1
14.6
12.8
9 .8
5.6
7.6
.1

0 .7
11.4
21.0
15.1
14.8
12.4
10.5
6.0
8.1
0)

14
T able 3.—

M i n i m u m a nd average salaries

S ch edule an d grade

A u g u st
1939

J u l y 8,
1951 *

J u l y 1,
1954

1 u n d er

the C la ssifica tion A c t s , b y grade, 1 9 S 9 , 1 9 5 1 , a nd 1 9 5 4

P ercen t in ­
crease to
J u l y 1,
1954, from —
Sch edule an d grade
Au­
gu st
1939

J u ly
8,
1951

$2,500 111.9
2,632 115.2
2,750 91.0
2,955 98.5
2,950 82.1
3,197 90.0
3,175 76.4
3,463 85.5
3,410 70.5
3,814 81.7
3,795 65.0
4,228 75.1
4,205 61.7
4,574 69.2
4,620 59.3
5,042 67.0
5,060 58.1
5,400 63.7
5,500 57.1
5,879 62.4
5,940 56.3
6,289 58.3
7,040 53.0
7,415 54.6
8,360 49.3
8,710 50.4
9,600 47.7
9,940 45.1

0
1.4
0
3.3
0
2.5
0
1.9
0
3 .6
0
2.8
0
1.8
0
2.0
0
1.0
0
2.4
0
.9
0
.7
0
.7
0
.6

G eneral schedule— Coi£.

G en eral schedule
G S -1 : M in im u m sala ry r a te ................... * $ 1 ,180
A verage s a la r y ................................. 1,223
1,440
G S -2 : M in im u m sala ry r a te ...................
A verage sa la r y .................................
1,489
1,620
G S -3 : M in im u m sa la ry r a te ...................
A verage s a la r y ................................. 1,683
G S -4 : M in im u m sala ry r a te ...............
1,800
A v erage sa la r y .................................
1,867
G S -5 : M in im u m sala ry r a te ...................
2,000
A verage sa la r y ................................. 2,099
G S -6 : M in im u m sa la ry r a te ................... 2,300
A v erage s a la r y ................................ 2,414
G S -7 : M in im u m sala ry ra te ...................
2,600
A v erage sa la r y ................................
2,704
G S -8 : M in im u m sala ry ra te ...................
2,900
A v erage sa la r y ................................. 3,020
G S -9 : M in im u m sala ry r a te ...................
3,200
A verage s a l a r y ............................... 3,298
G S -1 0 : M in im u m sala ry r a te .................
3,500
A verage sa la r y ............................... 3,620
G S -1 1 : M in im u m sala ry ra te .................
3,800
A verage sa la r y ............................... 3,974
G S-12: M in im u m sala ry r a te .................
4,600
A v erage s a la r y ............................... 4,797
G S-13: M in im u m sala ry r a te .................
5,600
A v erage sa la r y ............................... 5,793
G S-14: M in im u m sala ry r a te .................
6,500
A v erage sa la r y ...............................
6,850

A u g u st J u l y 8,
1939
1951 »

P ercen t in ­
crease to
J u ly 1,
1954, from —
J u l y 1,
1954
A u­ Ju ly
gu st
8,
1939 1951

$2,500
2,596
2,750
2,861
2,950
3,119
3,175
3,398
3,410
3,681
3,795
4,111
4,205
4,495
4,620
4,942
5,060
5,346
5.500
5,741
5,940
6,230
7,040
7,360
8,360
8,652
9,600
9,880

G S-15: M in im u m sala ry r a te .................
A verage sa la r y .............................-

$8,000 $10,800 $10,800
8,465 11,245 11,197

35.0
32.3

0
4- .4

201.7
189.7
124.1
129.8
112.7
122.5
108.3
121.4
98.3
107.7
90.5
104.0
84.7
101.7
87.0
101.0
80.4
90.5
75.6
88.8

0
6.9
0
2 .4
0
3 .2
0
3.1
0
4.1
0
2 .4
0
2 .4
0
2 .7
0
2 .1
0
2 .7

C rafts, pro tectiv e, a n d cu sto dial
C P C - 1 : M in im u m sala ry r a te _______
A verage sa la r y .........................
C P C - 2 : M in im u m sala ry r a te _______
A verage sa la r y ______________
C P C - 3 : M in im u m sala ry r a te _______
A verage sa la r y .............................
C P C - 4 : M in im u m sala ry r a te _______
A verage sa la r y .............................
C P C - 5 : M in im u m salary r a te ...........
A verage sa la r y .............................
C P C - 6 : M in im u m sala ry r a te _______
A verage sa la r y ............................
C P C - 7 : M in im u m sala ry r a te _______
A verage s a l a r y . . . .......................
C P C - 8 : M in im u m sala ry r a t e ...............
A verage sa la r y .............................
C P C - 9 : M in im u m sala ry r a te ............. .
A v erage s a l a r y . . .........................
C P C -1 0 : M in im u m sala ry r a te ........... ..
A v erage sa la r y ...........................

600
690
1,080
1,166
1,200
1,290
1,320
1,400
1,500
1,580
1,680
1,721
1,860
1,918
2,000
2,118
2,300
2,442
2,600
2,709

1,810
1,870
2,420
2, 618
2,552
2,782
2,750
3,008
2,974
3,154
3,200
3,428
3,435
3,776
3,740
4,145
4,150
4, 559
4,565
4,978

1,810
1,999
2,420
2,680
2, 552
2,870
2,750
3,100
2,974
3, 282
3,200
3, 511
3,435
3,868
3,740
4.257
4,150
4,653
4,565
5,114

1
A v erage salaries w ere ob tain ed b y w eightin g each sala ry step w ith in th e
grad e b y the n u m b er o f em ployees a t th a t step . In other w ords, th ey reflect
th e effect of increases in b asic sala ry scales a n d of m erit increases in p a y
w ith in the grade for each period.
* E ffectiv e d ate of m ost recent p a y scale revision .

* T h e m in im u m w as co m p u ted b y w eightin g e q u ally th e b ase p a y for each
of the 3 g rad es (S P -1 , S P -2 , a n d O A F -1 ) w hich were com bin ed un d er the
general schedule.
* P ercen t decrease

percent. These increases compare with a rise
of about 92 percent in the CPI from the year
1939 to late 1954. For factory production
workers, weekly pay more than tripled, partly
because of increased hours of work;5average hourly
earnings, excluding premium pay for overtime,
were 2K to 3 times their 1939 level. Among
other groups, average salaries of urban teachers
rose 96 percent from 1939 to 1953 while salary

scales for urban firemen and policemen increased
about 80 percent. 6
Salary changes since 1939 have been propor­
tionately greater for employees at the lower end
of the Federal pay scale than for those in the
higher grades.7 Within the general schedule, a
GS-15’s minimum pay in 1939 amounted to 5
%
times that of a GS-2, the lowest grade in which a
substantial number of workers are employed;
the corresponding ratio in 1954 was less than 4.
Minimum salary rates for workers in grades
CPC-1 to CPC-4 and GS-1 more than doubled
and the salary scale for CPC-5 also rose slightly
more than the CPI. 8 For each higher grade the
percentage gain was progressively less, with the
GS-15 salary rising about a third and its purchas­
ing power declining about a third during this
15-year period.

5 H o u rs of F ed e ral w orkers were 40 in 1954 com pared w ith 39 in 1939.
• D a ta for 1954 are n ot av aila b le for teachers nor policem en an d firem en.
• T h e follow ing p a y scale increases were gran ted d u rin g the period: A u g ­
ust 1 ,1 9 4 * — S P -1 an d 2 (now p art of G S -1) an d C P C -1 through 8 increased
from $60 to $200; J u ly 1, 1945—20 percent on first $1,200; 10 percent on n ext
$3,400; 5 percent on rem ain der, su b ject to a $10,000 ceiling; J u ly 1, 1946—
14 percent or $250 a year, w hich ever w as greater, b u t n ot m ore th an 25 per­
cent; J u ly 1948—$330 increase in all rates; October 1949—A n average of $140
a year resu ltin g from the revision of classification stru ctu re; J u ly 8, 1951—
10 percent, w ith a m in im u m of $300 an d a m ax im u m of $800.
8 A verage sala ry rates, in clu d in g the effect of m erit increases in p a y , in
g rad es C P C - 6 , C P C - 7 , C P C - 8 , an d G S -2 also rose m ore th an the C P I .




F e d e ra l C la s s ifie d E m p lo y e e s ’ S a la ry C h a n g e s, 1 9 5 4 — 5 6

by the Classification Act and their rates of pay
are determined on an area or locality basis by
various wage boards or committees established
by the Federal agencies employing them.

pay
scales
of Federal white-collar em­
ployees increased 7.6 percent between mid-1954
and mid-1956 as a result of pay-raise legislation
enacted by Congress in 1955. This increase,
combined with the effect of in-grade merit or
length-of-service adjustments and changes in the
employment pattern, raised average salaries by
10.1 percent.
The Federal Employees Salary Increase Act of
1955.1 signed by the President on June 28, 1955,
*
raised salary scales of about 900,000 workers
under the Classification Act, retroactive to the
first complete pay period in March of that year.
These workers comprise the vast majority of the
Federal Government white-collar employees ex­
cept those in the field service of the Post Office De­
partment. Government industrial employees—
so-called “blue collar” workers—are not covered

B a s ic

T

a ble

The 1955 act also raised the pay of employees
in the legislative and judicial branches of the
Government, in the Department of Medicine and
Surgery of the Veterans Administration and the
Foreign Service of the Department of State as
well as certain employees of the District of
Columbia Government. Also, in 1955, Congress
enacted the Postal Field Service Compensation
Act granting employees under it a 6-percent in­
crease in addition to an approximate average
1
T h e act (P u b lic L a w 94, 84th C on g., 1st sess.) provided for an across-theboard increase of 7.5 percent b u t contained a stip u latio n th a t all new rates
which were not in m ultiples of $5 be rounded to the next higher $5 per an n u m .
B ecau se of the roun din g, the average increase am ou n ted to 7.6 rather th an
7.5 percent.

1 .— In d e x es o f basic p a y scales, average sa la ry rates, and average salaries

1 of

F ed era l classified em p lo yees, 1 9 3 9 - 5 6

[A verage 1947-49=100]
B a sic p a y scales
P eriod

A u g u st 1939_______ ____ _____________
Ju n e 30, 1945_________________________
J u ly 1, 1946____ _____________________
J u ly 1, 1947____ _________ _____ _____
J u l y 15, 1948____ ____________________
J u ly 1, 1949________________ __________
J u ly 1, 1950___ _________________ ____
J u ly 8, 1951......... ........................... ...............
J u ly 1, 1952____ __________ ___________
J u ly 1, 1953_________ ________________
J u ly 1, 1954__________________ ______ _
J u ly 1, 1955..................................... ...............
J u ly 1, 1956......................... ............................

A ll C lassifi­
cation A ct
em ployees
69.6
70.4
93.2
93.2
103.4
103.4
107.7
118.5
118.6
118.5
118.5
(4)
w

General
schedule

70.9
71.0
93.5
93.5
103.3
103.3
107.4
118.0
118.0
118.0
118.0
• 127. 0
127.0

A verage sala ry rates
C rafts,
p rotective,
cu stodial

A ll C lassifi­
cation A ct
em ployees

62.0
68.3
91.1
91.1
104.4
104.4
109.2
121.0
121.0
121.0
121.0
(4)

68.2
* 69.0
90.6
92.3
103.5
104.2
109.6
119.3
119.6
120.7
121.8
(4)
(4)

(*)

1 B a sic p a y scales reflect only statu to ry changes in salaries, while average
salary rates show in addition the effect of m erit or in-grade salary increases.
A verage salaries m easure the effect not only of statu to ry changes in basic
p a y scales an d in-grade salary increases b u t the effect of changes in the pro­
portion of w orkers em ployed in the variou s p ay grades.
* E stim a te d b y assum in g the sam e d istribu tion of em ployees am on g grades
an d step s w ithin grades in 1945 a s in 1939. Since there w as little or no increase
in average rates because of in-grade increases during this period, it w as




G eneral
schedule

69.3
* 69. 4
90.8
92.5
103.5
104.0
109.4
118.8
119.0
120.0
121.1
* 130. 6
130.5

A verage salaries

C rafts,
p rotective,
cu sto dial
59.5
*6 5 .5
88.8
90.3
104.4
105.3
112.2
123.8
124.7
126.1
127.3
0)
(4)

A ll C lassifi­
cation A ct
em ployees
61.4
(*)

(*)
(4)

87.7
92.3
103.1
104.6
112.6
121.4
124.0
127. 1
129.4

G eneral
schedule

64.2
(3)
87.5
92.6
103.0
104.5
112.3
120.6
123.0
126.3
128.8
* 140.2
141.8

C rafts,
protective,
cu stodial
58.7
(3)

90.2
90.2
104.3
105.4
112.8
125.3
127.2
129.1
129.3

(4)
(<)

assum ed th a t the change in basic p a y scales w as v irtu a lly the sam e as in
average salary rates.
* N o t available.
4
Index discon tinued, as the general schedule now covers all Classification
A ct em ployees.
4
D a ta have been ad ju sted to include some em ployees form erly under the
C P C schedule who are now covered b y the general schedule; abou t twoth ird s of the em ployees were transferred to w age-board classifications and
the rem aining one-third to the general schedule.

15

16
T able 2.—

Percentage distribu tion o f general schedule
em p lo ye es b y grade, selected p erio d s, 1 9 8 9 - 5 6
P ercen t o f w orkers in—

Item
August J u ly l, J u ly l, July 8, J u ly l, J u ly l, July 1.
1939
1946
1951
1954
1955
1956
1950
GS-1..........................
GS-2..........................
GS-3..........................
GS-4_________ _____
GS-5 and GS-6.........
GS-7 and GS-8_____
GS-9 and GS-10____
GS-11........................
GS-12 to GS-15.........
GS-16 to GS-18....... .

13.1
18.1
14.7
11.5
17.2
10.4
6.8
3.8
4.4

2.5
19.3
22.8
13.6
13.9
11.6
7.6
4.0
4.7

1.8
14.5
20.6
14.8
14.8
12.3
9.2
5.1
6.9
0)

To ta l................

100.0

100.0

100.0

1.4
16.6
21.8
13.9
14.5
11.7
8.7
4.8
6.6
C)

1.1
11.5
21.0
15.7
14.9
12.1
10.1
5.8
7.8
.1

1.1
10.9
20.9
15.8
14.8
11.8
10.1
6.1
8.4
.1

0.7
8.9
21.4
16.4
15.2
11.9
10.2
6.3
8.9
.1

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Number of employ­

ees................................. 234,067 893,653 701,824 885,925 863,462 886,512 908,535
* L e ss th an 0.05 percent.
N o t e : B ecau se of rou n din g, to tals do n ot n ecessarily eq u al 100.

2-percent rise resulting from job reclassifications.
These two laws enacted within 3 weeks of each
other constituted the first pay legislation affecting
white-collar employees of the Federal Govern­
ment since July 8, 1951.2
This article presents data on the salaries of
Federal employees under the Classification Act
in the form of three types of indexes which reflect
the changes in basic pay scales, average salary
rates, and average salaries between July 1954 and
July 1956. In extending the indexes for the
period studied, only salary trends of employees
under the general schedule were used since the
crafts, protective, and custodial schedule was
abolished effective July 1, 1955, in accordance
with Public Law 763 (83d Cong., 2d sess.). Of
the approximately 100,000 employees formerly
under the CPC schedule, almost two-thirds (em­
ployed largely in craft jobs) were transferred to
wage-board classifications, with their rates of pay
established on the basis of rates prevailing in
private industry in the labor market in which
they were employed. The remainder (mostly
messengers, guards, and firefighters) were placed
in general schedule grades 1 through 8. At the

* In 1954 an d 1956, there w ere also som e gain s in su p p lem en tary benefits
for F ed eral em ployees. L egislation p assed in A u g u st 1954 provided F ed eral
w orkers w ith life insu ran ce, in clu d in g acciden tal d eath a n d d ism em berm en t
b enefits, w ith the G overn m en t an d the em ployees sh arin g the p rem ium s.
T h is legislation also set u p 3 a d d ition al in-grade (longevity) step s for em p loy­
ees in grades G S-11 through G S-15. In ad d itio n , retirem en t benefits w ere
lib eralized b y legislation,, enacted in J u l y 1956 a n d effective in O ctober of
th a t year, w hich in creased em ployee con tributions.




same time—on July 1,1955—approximately 2,500
workers formerly under the general schedule were
transferred to wage-board classifications.
The effect of inclusion in the general schedule
of the 35,000 former CPC workers on the measures
of change in salary scales and on changes in
average salary rates has been minimized by the
fact that the year-to-year changes in these indexes
do not reflect shifts in the proportion of workers
in various grades and hence do not reflect the
increase in the number of workers in the lower
general schedule grades resulting from the transfer.
The index of average salaries, however, does reflect
the transfer of CPC employees but the effect was
small since the transferred workers amounted to
only about 4 percent of the total number under
the general schedule.
The basic increases authorized by the Congress
in 1955 amounted to 7.6 percent, as indicated
earlier. Only slight gains—amounting to 0.2
percent—resulted from merit or length-of-service
increases in pay between July 1954 and July 1956.
Hence, average salary rates, affected by lengthof-service increases as well as by legislative changes
in basic salary scales, rose 7.8 percent.
Shifts in the number of employees in the
different pay grades, notably proportionately
larger numbers in the higher grades, accounted
T able 3.— P ercen t in crea ses in F ed era l classified e m p lo y e e s *
sa la ries , i n average ea rn in g s o f fa c to r y p rod u ctio n w ork ers
a nd r a ilw a y office e m p lo ye es , a nd in the C P I ,
a nd 1 9 5 4 - 5 6

Item

F ed e ra l classified em p loy ees:
B a sic p a y scales (affected b y legislation o n l y ) . . .
A v erage sa la r y rate s (affected b y legislation an d
in-grade in creases)........................................................
A verage salaries (affected b y legislation , in-grade
in creases, a n d changes in occu p atio n al or grade
com position o f classified em p lo y ees).....................
F a c to r y produ ction w orkers:
A verage w eekly earn in g s..............................................
A verage ho u rly earn in gs (excluding o v e rtim e ).. .
R ailw a y office em ployees (straigh t-tim e m o n th ly
earn ings *):
A ll em p loy ees.....................................................................
D iv isio n officers, a ssistan ts, a n d sta ff a ss is ta n ts..
C h ief clerks a n d oth er su p e r v iso r s1..........................
O ther clerical em ployees *.............................................
C o n su m er P rice I n d e x . . ......................................................

1 9 3 9 -5 6

A u g u st 1939 J u l y 1954
to
to
J u l y 1956 J u l y 1956

79.1

7 .6

88.3

7 .8

111

10.1

230
200

11.4
8 .0

127
102
104
134
97

7.7
14.8
9 .3
6 .0
1 .6

1 C o m p u ted b y B u re a u o f L a b o r S ta tistic s from In te rsta te C om m erce C o m ­
m ission M -300 rep orts. T h e av erage w as co m p u ted b y d iv id in g to tal com ­
p en satio n for stra ig h t tim e a c tu ally w orked b y th e n u m b er o f em p loy ees
w ho received p a y d u rin g the m on th .
1 P rofessional a n d sub p rofession al assistan ts, su p erv iso ry or chief clerks
(m ajo r d ep artm e n ts), chief clerks (m inor d ep artm e n ts), a ssista n t ch ief
clerks, an d su p erv isin g cash iers.
» C lerk s an d clerical sp ecialists, clerks, m ech an ical device o perators (office),
sten ograph ers a n d secretaries, sten ograph ers an d ty p ists, trav elin g a u d ito rs
o r a c c o u n ta n ts, a n d m essen gers a n d officeboys.

17

for a further 2.3-percent rise in average salaries
between mid-1954 and mid-1956, bringing the
total increase in average salaries to 10.1 percent
(table 1). The most pronounced change in the
employment pattern was a decline in the number
of workers in grades 1 and 2. While about
10,000 new workers, in addition to the 35,000
transferred CPC workers, were added to the
general schedule, the total number employed in
these grades fell by almost 12,000 (from 12.6
to 9.6 percent of the total). During the same




2-year period, the number of workers classified
in the two immediately higher grades (GS-3
and GS-4) increased by about 26,000 (from
36.7 to 37.8 percent), with the gain being shared
equally by the two grades. The proportion of
workers in grades GS-11 through GS-15 also
rose (table 2).
Salary adjustments for Federal classified em­
ployees from mid-1954 to mid-1956 were sub­
stantially greater than the increase in the
Consumer Price Index, but they were somewhat

18

T able 4.—

M i n i m u m a nd average s a l a r i e s 1 o f F ed era l classified e m p lo y e e s , b y grade, 1 9 3 9 , 1 9 6 0 , 1 9 6 1 , a nd 1 9 5 4 - 5 6

A u g u st
1939

Sch edule a n d grade

J u l y 8,
1951

J u l y 1,
1950

J u l y 1,
1954*

J u l y 1,
1955

J u l y 1,
1956

P ercen t change * to J u l y 1, 1956, from —
A u g u st
1939

G en eral schedule:
Q S-1: M in im u m sala ry rate ...............
A verage sa la r y .................. ..........
G S -2 : M in im u m sala ry ra te ..............
A verage sa la ry ............ ...............
G S -3 : M in im u m sala ry ra te ............ ..
A verage sa la ry ...........................
G S -4 : M in im u m sala ry rate _______
A verage sa la ry ______________
G S -5 : M in im u m sala ry rate ..............
A verage sa la ry ______________
G S -6 : M in im u m salary ra te _______
A verage sala ry ...... .....................
G S -7 : M in im u m salary ra te _______
A verage sala ry ...... .....................
G S -8 : M in im u m salary rate ...............
A verage sa la ry ........ ...................
G S -9 : M in im u m salary r a t e . . . .........
A verage sa la ry ...........................
G S-10: M in im u m salary ra te ..............
A verage sa la ry ............................
G S-11: M in im u m salary rate _______
A verage sa la ry ...........................
G S-12: M in im u m salary ra te _______
A verage sa la ry ...........................
G S-13: M in im u m salary rate ..............
A verage sa la ry ............................
G S-14: M in im u m sala ry rate ...............
A verage sa la r y ............................
G S -1 5: M in im u m sala ry rate ...............
A verage sa la ry .................. ..........
G S-16: M in im u m sala ry r a t e ..............
A verage s a la r y ..........................
G S-17: M in im u m sala ry rate ...............
A verage sa la ry .......... ..................
G S-18: M in im u m sala ry rate ...............
A verage sa la ry ............................

4 $1,180
1,223
1,440
1,489
1,620
1,683
1,800
1,867
2,000
2,099
2,300
2,414
2,600
2,704
2,900
3,020
3,200
3,298
3,500
3,620
3,800
3,974
4,600
4,797
5, G O
O
5,793
6,500
6,850
8,000
8,460
00
00
00
00
00
(•)

$2,200
2,356
2,450
2.639
2,650
2,866
2,875
3,103
3,100
3,405
3,450
3,780
3,825
4,154
4,200
4,553
4,600
4,923
5,000
5,279
5.400
5,734
6,400
6,759
7,600
7,931
8,800
9,150
10,500
10,577
11,200
11,232
12,200
12,288
14,000
14,000

$2,500
2,596
2,750
2,861
2,950
3,119
3,175
3,398
3,410
3,681
3,795
4,111
4,205
4,495
4,620
4,942
5,060
5,346
5,500
5,741
5,940
6,230
7,040
7,360
8,360
8,652
9,600
9,880
10,800
11,245
12,000
12,044
13,000
13,045
14,800
14,800

$2,500
2,624
2,760
2,954
2,950
3,198
3,175
3,463
3,410
3,813
3,795
4,228
4,205
4,574
4,620
5,043
5,060
5,400
5,500
5,879
5,940
6,289
7,040
7,415
8,360
8,710
9,600
9,941
10,800
11,198
12,900
12,225
13,000
13,139
14,800
14,800

$2,690
2,013
2,960
3,186
3,175
3,446
3,415
3,738
3,670
4,129
4,080
4,566
4,525
4,960
4,970
5,449
5,440
5,825
5,915
6,344
6,390
6,768
7,570
7,975
8,990
9,381
10,320
10,682
11,610
12,034
12,900
13,125
13,975
14,122
14,800
14,800

$2,690
2,942
2,960
3,157
3,175
3,434
3,415
3.737
3,670
4,128
4,080
4,561
4,525
4,967
4,970
5,477
5,440
5,831
5,915
6,361
6,390
6,773
7,570
7,966
8,990
9,385
10,320
10,682
11,610
12,052
12,900
13,135
13,975
14,134
7 14,800
7 14,800

J u l y 1,
1950

J u l y 8,
1951

J u l y 1,
1954

128.0
140.6
105.6
112.0
96.0
104.0
89.7
100.2
83.5
96.7
77.4
88.9
74.0
83.7
71.4
81.4
70.0
76.8
69.0
75.7
68.2
70.4
64.6
66.1
60.5
62.0
58.8
55.9
45.1
42.4
(•)
00
CO
00
00
00

22.3
24.9
20.8
19.6
19.8
19.8
18.8
20.4
18.4
21.2
18.3
20.7
18.3
19.6
18.3
20.3
18.3
18.4
18.3
20.5
18.3
18.1
18.3
17.9
18.3
18.3
17.3
16.7
10.6
13.9
15.2
16.9
14.5
15.0
5.7
5.7

7 .6
13.3
7 .6
10.3
7.6
10.1
7.6
10.0
7 .6
12.1
7.5
10.9
7.6
10.5
7 .6
10.8
7.5
9.1
7.5
10.8
7.6
8.7
7 .5
8 .2
7 .5
8 .5
7.5
8.1
7 .5
7.2
7.5
9.1
7 .5
8 .3
0
0

7 .6
12.1
7 .6
6 .9
7 .6
7 .4
7 .6
7 .9
7 .6
8 .3
7.5
7 .9
7 .6
8 .6
7 .6
8 .6
7.5
8 .0
7.5
8 .2
7 .6
7.7
7 .5
7 .4
7.5
7.7
7.5
7 .5
7.5
7.6
7.5
7 .4
7 .5
7 .6
0
0

J u l y 1,
1955

0
1.0
0
- .9
0
- .3
0
(s)
(»)

(s)

0
0
- .1
0
.1
0
.5
0
.1
0
.3
0
.1
0
- .1
0
0
0
0
0
0

.1
.1

.1

0
0

1
A verage salaries were ob tain ed b y w eightin g each sala ry step w ith in the
grad e b y the n u m ber of em ployees a t th a t step . In other w ords, th ey reflect
th e effect of increases in basic sala ry scales a n d of m erit increases in p a y
w ith in the grade for each period.
■ Increase u n less preceded b y a m in u s sign.
* D a ta include form er C P C em ployees tran sferred in to the schedule an d
exclu de em ployees tran sferred from the general schedule in to wage-board
classification s. O n ly in grade 1 (where the average w as low ered from $2,632
to $2,624) d id these tran sfers change the averages b y m ore th an $1.

4 T h e m in im u m w as co m p u ted b y w eightin g e q u ally the b ase p a y for each
of the 3 grades (S P -1 , S P -2 , an d C A F -1 ) w hich were com bin ed u n d er the
general schedule.
8 L e ss th an 0.05 percent.
• G rad es 16, 17, an d 18 were created u n d er the C lassification A ct of 1949
(O ct. 28,1949).
7 L egislatio n p assed in J u l y 1956 raised th e rate for g rad e 18 to $16,000.

less than the rise in earnings of women office
clerical workers in five major metropolitan areas.3
Comparisons with other groups of workers are
presented in table 3, but no attempt has been
made to show the increases in either salary scales
in private industry or in prices that have occurred
since July 1956.
For the entire period since 1939, salary increases
of employees under the Federal Classification

Act have not kept pace with average salaries of
railway office employees. Likewise, over the
same period (1939-56), salaries of employees
subject to the Classification Act have not increased
as much as the Consumer Price Index except
when measured by the index of average salaries,
which takes into account shifts in the proportions
of employees within the classified grades. The
increase, as reflected by this index, amounted to
111 percent as against a 97-percent rise in the
Consumer Price Index.
An analysis of the movement of salary rates of
individual general schedule grades since 1939
indicates that only in grades 1 and 2 have basic
salary rates and accompanying within-grade in­
creases been greater than the rise in the Consumer
Price Index. The rise in average salaries from
1939 to 1956 amounted to about 140 percent in
grade 1 and 112 percent in grade 2. It was

3 Straigh t-tim e w eekly p a y of wom en office clerical w orkers rose a s follows:
Per­
P er cent

cent

A tla n ta ......... ............... .................
C h icag o ........................ .................
C le v e lan d .................... .................

L o s A n geles-L o n g B e a ch ___ ..
N ew Y o rk C it y ........................ ..

8 .5
8.0
10.6

8 .5
9 .6

T h e office w orker indexes, b ased on d a ta from the B u re a u ’s occupational
w age su rv ey s, m easure changes in earnings w ithin the sam e occupation an d
hence are m ost com parable to the in dex of average sala ry rates for F ed eral
em ployees. Inform ation for these cities w as collected in the following
periods: A tlan ta— M arch 1954 a n d A p ril 1956; C hicago— M arch 1954 a n d
A p ril 1956; C levelan d— O ctober 1954 a n d O ctober 1956; L o s A n geles-L on g
B each —M arch 1954 a n d M arch 1956; N ew Y o rk C ity —F eb ru ary 1954 a n a
A p ril 1 9 5 6 *
3 , P *g ®

F o r d ata

c o v e rin g

2 1 j.




th e

p e r io d

195 4 —5 7 *

se e

fo o tn o te

19

progressively less for the higher grades, with the
increase in grade 15 amounting to 42 percent
(table 4 and chart).
These marked differences in salary trends
among grades resulted from the provision in pay
legislation of (a) increases that were identical in
dollars irrespective of grade or (b) uniform per­
centage increases in some grades combined with a
minimum and maximum dollar ceiling that re­
sulted in higher percentage increases in the lowest
grades and lower proportionate increases in the
higher grades. Only the 1955 legislation provided
uniform percentage adjustments for all grades
(except GS-18, where there was no increase until
1956).4 As a result of this trend, the highest
salary in the general schedule in 1954 was about 6




times the lowest, whereas in 1939 the ratio was
almost 9. The adjustments put into effect in
1955, combined with the 1956 advance in the
maximum salary for grade 18, did not further
widen the range of rates for white-collar workers:
The new maximum rate for grade 18—$16,000—
was still only 6 times the minimum rate for
grade l.5

4 P u b lic L a w 854 (84th C on g., 2d sess.), approved J u ly 31, 1956, increased
basic p a y rates for certain F ed eral officials, in cluding those in grade G S-18.
5 T h e top grade in 1939 w as com parab le to G S-15 an d w as G S-18 in 1956;
the b ottom grade in 1939 w as S P -1 . T h e ratio betw een the top G S-15 salary
(excluding longevities) a n d the m in im u m G S-1 rate in 1956 w as ab o u t 4%
to 1. If the m easurem en t of the sp read in grades in 1939 in cluded the C P O
grades, the narrow ing w ould be even m ore pronounced.

F e d e ra l C la s s ifie d E m p lo y e e s ’ S a la ry C h a n g e s, 1 9 5 7

data contained in the article "F e d e ra l C l a s ­
sified E m p loyees’ Salary Changes, 1 9 5 4 - 5 6 . ”

The following tables and revised foot­
note 3 bring up to date through July 1957 the

T A B L E 1.

Indexes of b a s ic pay s c a l e s , a v e ra g e s a la r y r a t e s , and a v e r a g e s a l a r i e s 1
of F e d e r a l c la s s ifie d em p lo y ees, 1939—
57
(A verage 1947— - 100)
49
A v e rag e s a la r y r a te s

A v e rag e s a la r i e s

B a s ic pay sc a le s

A ll
A ll
C ra fts,
C la s s i f i ­
G en eral
C la ssifi­
p ro te c tiv e , cation A ct
cation A c t schedule cu stod ial
em olov ees
em plovees

P e rio d

A ugust 1939 ------------------June 30 , 1 9 4 5 ----------------Ju ly 1, 1946
......................
Ju ly 1, 1947 ........................
Ju ly 15,, 1948 ----------------Ju ly 1, 1949 - ------Ju ly 1, 1 9 5 0 .............................
- .............
Ju ly 8, 1951 Ju ly 1, 1952 ------------------Ju ly 1, 1953 - — ..................
Ju ly 1, 1 9 5 4 ........................ —
Ju ly 1, 1 9 5 5 ------------------Ju ly 1, 1 9 5 6 ----------Ju ly 1, 1 9 5 7 — ............. ..........

6 9 .6
7 0 .4
9 3 .2
9 3 .2
103. 4
1 0 3 .4
1 0 7 .7
118. 5
118.5
1 1 8 .5
118. 5
(4 )
(4 )
(4 )

70.9
7 1.0
93. 5
9 3 .5
103. 3
103. 3
1 07.4
118. 0
118. 0
118. 0
118. 0
5 127. 0
127.0
127.0

6 2 .0
6 8.3
91. 1
91. 1
10 4 .4
104. 4
109.2
1 21.0
121.0
121.0
121.0

A ll
C ra fts,
C la s s i f i ­
G en eral
p ro te c tiv e ,
schedule
cation Act
cu sto d ial
em plovees

6 8 .2
2 69. 0
90. 6
92. 3
103. 5
104.2
109. 6
1 19. Ir
119. 6
120. 7
121. 8
(4 )
<;>
(4 )

<!>
(4 )
(4 )

69. 3
2 69. 4
90. 8
92. 5
103. 5
104. 0
109. 4
118. 8
119. 0
120. 0
121. 1
* 1 3 0 .6
130. 5
130. 6

5 9 .5
2 65. 5
88. 8
90. 3
1 0 4 .4
105. 3
112.2
123. 8
124. 7
126. 1
127. 3
(4 )
(4 )
(4 )

6 1 .4
n
87. 7
9 2 .3
103. 1
104. 6
112. 6
12 1 .4
124.0
127. 1
1 2 9 .4
(4 )
(4 )
(4 )

C ra fts,
G en eral
p ro te c tiv e ,
schedule
cu stod ial
64.2
(3 )
87. 5
9 2 .6
103. 0
104. 5
112. 3
120. 6
123. 0
126. 3
128. 8
s 1 4 0 .2
1 4 1 .8
144. 8

58. 7
(3 )
9 0 .2
9 0 .2
104. 3
10 5 .4
112. 8
125. 3
127.2
129. 1
129. 3
(4 )
(j>
(4 )

1 B a s ic pay s c a le s r e fle c t only statu to ry changes in s a l a r i e s , while a v e ra g e s a la r y r a te s show in addition the effe ct of
m e r it or in -g ra d e s a la r y in c r e a s e s . A verag e s a la r ie s m e a su r e the effect not only of statu to ry changes in b a s ic pay s c a le s
and in -g ra d e s a la r y in c r e a s e s but the effect of changes in the proportion of w o rk ers em ployed in the v ario u s pay g ra d e s .
2 E stim a te d by a ssu m in g the sam e distribu tion of em ployees am ong g ra d e s and ste p s within g ra d e s in 1945 a s in 1939.
Since th ere w as little or no in c re a s e in a v e ra g e r a te s b e ca u se of in -g rad e in c r e a s e s during this p erio d , it w as assu m e d that
the change in b a s ic pay s c a le s w as v irtu ally the sam e a s in a v e ra g e s a la r y r a te s .
3 Not a v a ila b le .
4 Index discontinued, a s the g en eral schedule now co v ers a ll C la ssific a tio n A ct em p loy ees.
5 Data have been ad ju sted to include som e em ploy ees fo rm e rly under the C PC schedule who a r e now covered by the
g e n e ra l sch edule; about tw o-thirds of the em ployees w ere tr a n sfe r re d to w ag e-b o ard c la s sific a tio n s and the rem aining onethird to the g en era l sch ed ule.

T A B L E 2.

P erc en tag e distribu tion of g e n e ral schedule em ploy ees by g ra d e , se le c te d p e rio d s, 1939—
57
P erc en t of w o rk ers in—

Item

A ugust
1939

Ju ly 1,
1946

Ju ly 1,
1950

Ju ly 8,
1951

Ju ly 1,
1954

GS-1 ......................................
G S - 2 ....................................... —
G S - 3 ............................................
G S-4
.......................................
G S-5 and G S - 6 ........................
G S-7 and G S - 8 ........................
GS-9 and G S - 1 0 -------------G S -1 1
..................................
GS-12 to G S-1 5 ......................
G S-1 6 to G S-1 8 .....................

13. 1
18. 1
14. 7
1 1 .5
17.2
1 0 .4
6 .8
3. 8
4 .4
-

2 .5
19.3
22. 8
13. 6
13.9
1 1 .6
7 .6
4. 0
4. 7
-

1. 8
14. 5
2 0 .6
1 4.8
14. 8
12.3
9 .2
5. 1
6 .9
(M

1 .4
1 6 .6
21. 8
13.9
14. 5
11. 7
8. 7
4. 8
6. 6
(1)

1.1
1 1 .5
2 1 .0
15. 7
14 .9
12. 1
10. 1
5. 8
7. 8
.1

T o t a l --------------------

----- 1QQ.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

10 0 .0

N um ber of e m p lo y e e s------

2 3 4 ,0 6 7

893,653

701,824

885,925

863,462

1 L e s s than 0. 05 p ercen t.
N OTE: B e c a u se of rounding, to tals do not n e c e s s a r ily equal 100.




20

Ju ly 1,
1955
1. 1
10. 9
2 0 .9
15. 8
14. 8
11. 8
10. 1
6. 1
8 .4
.1

Ju ly 1,
1956

Ju ly 1,
1957

0. 7
8 .9
2 1 .4
1 6 .4
15.2
11.9
10.2
6 .3
8 .9
.1

0. 5
7.2
2 0 .8
16 .8
15. 7
11.5
10. 6
6 .9
9 .9
.1

100.0

100. 0

100. 0

886,512

9 0 8 ,5 3 5

927,822

21
T A B L E 3. P erc en t in c r e a s e s in F e d e r a l c la s sifie d em p loy ees* s a la r i e s ,
in a v e ra g e earn in gs of facto ry production w o rk ers and railw ay office em p lo y ees,
and in the C PI, 1939 to 1957 and 1954 to 1957
P erc en tag e in c r e a s e s
Item

A ugust 1939
to
Ju ly 1957

F e d e r a l c la s sifie d em p lo y ees:
B a s ic pay s c a le s (affected by le g islatio n
o n ly )--------------------------------------------------------A v e rag e s a la r y r a te s (affected by le g islatio n
and in -g rad e in c r e a s e s ) ------------------------------A verag e s a l a r i e s (affected by le g isla tio n ,
in -g ra d e in c r e a s e s , and changes in
occupational or grad e com position of
c la s sifie d e m p lo y e e s ) -------------------- — ------—■
F a c to ry production w o rk e rs:
A verag e w eekly e a r n in g s -------------------------------A verag e hourly earn in g s (excluding
o v e r t i m e ) ------------------------------------------------R ailw ay office em ployees (straig h t-tim e monthly
ea rn in g s: 1 )

!
j

Ju ly 1954
to
Ju ly 1957

79.1

7. 6

88. 5

7 .9

126

1 2 .4

244

1 5.9

218

14.2

150
D ivision o ffic e r s , a s s is t a n t s , and sta ff
a s s is t a n t s ------------------------------------------------C hief c le rk s and other su p e r v iso r s 2 --------------Other c le r ic a l em ployees 3 ----------------------------C onsu m er P r ic e In d e x ---------------------------------------

18. 3

117

23. 3
18. 0
16. 7
4 .9

120

158
103

1 Computed by B u reau of L ab or S ta tistic s from In terstate C om m erce C o m m issio n
M -300 r e p o r ts. The av e ra g e w as computed by dividing total com pensation for stra ig h t tim e
actu a lly w orked by the num ber of em ploy ees who rece iv ed pay during the month.
2 P ro fe ssio n a l and su b p ro fe ssio n a l a s s is t a n t s , su p e r v iso r y or chief c le rk s (m ajor
d ep artm en ts), chief c le rk s (m inor d epartm en ts), a s s is ta n t chief c le rk s , and su p erv isin g
c a s h ie r s .
3 C le rk s and c le r ic a l s p e c ia lis t s , c le r k s , m echan ical device o p e rato rs (office), sten og­
ra p h e rs and s e c r e t a r ie s , ste n o g rap h e rs and ty p ists, trav elin g au d ito rs or accou ntants, and
m e sse n g e r s and office bo y s.

3 The data on w eekly pay of women c le r ic a l w o rk ers, p resen ted in footnote 3 on
page 22, have been re v ise d .
S traig h t-tim e weekly pay of women office c le r ic a l w o rk ers
r o se between 1954 and 1957 a s follow s:
P erc en t
A tlanta ----------------------------- 12.2
C h ic a g o ----------------------------- 13 .9
C le v e la n d -------------------------- N.A.

P erc en t
L o s A n geles—
Long B e a c h ------ 15.2
New York C it y --------------------- 15.3

The office w orker in d ex es, b ase d on data from the B u r e a u 's occupational wage
su r v e y s, m e a su r e changes in earn in gs within the sam e occupation and hence a r e
m o st co m p arab le to the index of a v e ra g e s a la r y r a te s fo r F e d e r a l em p loy ees.
Inform ation for these c itie s w as co llected in the following p e rio d s: A tlanta M arch 1954 and A p ril 1957; C hicago - M arch 1954 and A p ril 1957; C leveland not su rveyed in 1957; L o s A n geles—
Long Beach - M arch 1954 and M arch 1957;
New Y ork C ity - F e b ru a ry 1954 and A p ril 1957.




Federal Classified Employees’ Salary Changes, 1955—58

policy of hiring workers in certain fields at rates
above the minimum for their grade. The increase
in average salaries attributable to changes in the
grade composition of the Federal labor force was
spread over the 3-year period.
Over the period from mid-1955 to mid-1958,
all three measures of Federal Classified em­
ployees’ salaries rose more than the 8-percent
advance in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Con­
sumer Price Index. However, two measures of
Federal pay—basic pay scales and average salary
rates—rose less than the earnings of women office
employees in private industry (whose increases in
certain major labor markets ranged from 13.7
to 16.4 percent) and less than the average hourly
earnings of factory production workers (13.7 per­
cent) .2 The third measure of Federal pay—
average salaries—increased less than the earnings
of railway office employees (28.2 percent), but
more than the earnings of women office workers
in industry generally. The average salary figure
for Federal workers is appreciably affected by

pay
scales
of Federal employees whose
salaries were determined by the Classification Act
were raised by an average of 10.1 percent,1 by
legislation enacted by the 85th Congress in June
1958. This general pay raise, retroactive to the
first pay period of January 1958, was the first
change in salary scales under the Classification
Act since 1955, except for an increase in the maxi­
mum salaries for grades 17 and 18 in 1956. (See
table 1.) During the period intervening between
these general pay increases, average salary rates
rose about 1 percent as a result of in-grade or
automatic length-of-service adjustments, while
changes in the proportion of workers in various
pay grades added about 6 percent to average
salaries. Hence, the total rise in average salary
rates from July 1955 to July 1958, reflecting both
the effect of legislation and in-grade pay increases,
amounted to 11 percent, and the total rise in
average salaries, affected by those factors plus
changes in the proportion of workers in various
pay grades, was 17.4 percent. The increase in
average salary rates resulting from in-grade ad­
justments was concentrated in the year ending
July 1958 and was traceable mainly to a new

B a s ic

1 E ac h scale w as raised 10 percen t, r o u n d e d to m u ltip les o f $5.
2 T h e sm aller increase in w eekly earn ings of facto ry p ro d u ctio n w orkers w as

due to the temporary reduction in their hours of work during late 1957 and
early 1958.

T a b le 1. I n d e x e s o f b a s ic p a j s c a le s , a v e r a g e s a la r y r a t e s , a n d a v e r a g e s a la r ie s 1 o f F e d e r a l c la ss ifie d e m p lo y e e s, 1 9 3 9 -5 8
[A verage 1947-49=100]
B a sic p a y scales
P eriod

A u g u st 1939................
Ju n e 30,1945...............
J u l y 1,1946.................
J u l y 1, 1947.................
J u l y 15, 1948...............
J u l y 1, 1949.................
J u l y 1, 1950.................
J u l y 8, 1951............... ..
J u l y 1, 1952.................
J u l y 1, 1953.................
J u l y 1, 1954.................
J u l y 1, 1955.................
J u l y 1,1956.................
J u l y 1, 1957.................
J u l y 1,1958.................

A ll C lassifica­
tion A ct
em ployees
69.6
70.4
93.2
93.2
103.4
103.4
107.7
118.5
118.5
118.5
118.5
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)

G eneral
schedule

70.9
71.0
93.5
93.5
103.3
103.3
107.4
118.0
118.0
118.0
118.0
8 127.0
127.0
127.0
139.8

A verage sala ry rates
C rafts, pro­
tective,
cu stod ial

A ll C lassifica­
tion A ct
em ployees

62.0
68.3
91.1
91.1
104.4
104.4
109.2
121.0
121.0
121.0
121.0

68.2
2 69.0
90.6
92.3
103.5
104.2
109.6
119.3
119.6
120.7
121.8

(4)
(4)
(*)

(4)

(4)
(*)

(4)
(4)

i B a sic p a y scales reflect on ly sta tu to ry changes in salaries, w hile average
sala ry rate s show in ad d itio n th e effect of m erit or in-grade sala ry in creases.
A verage salaries m easu re the effect n o t on ly of sta tu to ry changes in b asic
p a y scales an d in-grade sa la ry in creases b u t the effect of changes in the p ropor­
tion o f w orkers em p loy ed in th e vario u s p a y grad es.
* E stim a te d b y assu m in g the sam e d istrib u tio n of em ployees am on g g rad e s
a n d step s w ithin grad es in 1945 a s in 1939. Sin ce there w as little or n o in­
crease in average rate s b ecau se of in-grade in creases d u rin g th is p erio d , it




G eneral
schedule

69.3
2 69.4
90.8
92.5
103.5
104.0
109.4
118.8
119.0
120.0
121.1
8 130.6
130.5
130.6
145.0

A verage salaries
C rafts, pro­
tectiv e,
cu sto d ial
59.5
2 65.5
88.8
90.3
104.4
105.3
112.2
123.8
124.7
126.1
127.3
(4)
h

(4)
(4)

A ll C lassifica­
tion A ct
em ployees

G eneral
schedule

61.4
(»)

(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)

87.7
92.3
103.1
104.6
112.6
121.4
124.0
127.1
129.4

C rafts, pro­
tective,
cu sto dial

64.2
(»)

87.5
92.6
103.0
104.5
112.3
120.6
123.0
126.3
128.8
8 140.2
141.8
144.8
164.6

58.7
(3)

90.2
90.2
104.3
105.4
112.8
125.3
127.2
129.1
129.3

(4)
(4)
(<)
(4)

w as assu m ed th a t th e change in b asic p a y scales w as v irtu a lly the sam e a s
in av erage sala ry rates.
* N o t a v ailab le.
4 In d ex d isco n tin u ed , a s th e general schedule now covers a ll C lassificatio n
A ct em ployees.
* D a ta h av e been a d ju ste d to in clu d e those em ployees form erly un d er th e
C P C sch ed u le w ho are now covered b y th e general sch edule; a b o u t tw o-th irds
of th e em ployees w ere tran sferred to w age-board classification s a n d the re­
m ain in g one-third to the general sch edule.

22

23
T a b le 2 . P e r c e n t d istr ib u tio n o f g e n e r a l s c h e d u le e m p lo y e e s b y g r a d e , s e le c t e d p e rio d s , 1 9 3 9 -5 8
G eneral schedule grade

A u gu st 1939

J u l y 1, 1946

J u l y 1, 1950

J u l y 8, 1951

J u ly 1, 1954

J u l y 1, 1955

J u l y 1, 1956

J u l y 1, 1957

13.1
18.1
14.7
11.5
17.2
10.4
6.8
3.8
4.4

2.5
19.3
22.8
13.6
13.9
11.6
7.6
4.0
4.7

1.8
14.5
20.6
14.8
14.8
12.3
9.2
5.1
6.9

1.4
16.6
21.8
13.9
14.5
11.7
8.7
4.8
6.6

1.1
11.5
21.0
1 15.8
14.9
12.1
10.1
5.8
7.8
.1

1.1
10.9
20.9
15.8
14.8
11.8
10.1
6.1
8.4
.1

0.7
8 .9
21.4
16.4
15.2
11.9
10.2
6.3
8.9
.1

0 .5
7.2
20.8
16.8
15.7
11.5
10.6
6.9
9.9

T o t a l_____ ________

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

N u m b er of em p loy ees........

234.067

893, 653

701. 824

885,925

1864,126

886, 512

908, 535

927, 822

1_________________________
2.................... ........... .................
3____________________ _____
4 ,................................................
5 an d 6__________________
7 an d 8.....................................
9 an d 10____ _____________
11_______ ______ _________
12 through 15____ _______
16 through 18............. ............

(’ )

(2)

1 R ev ised .
3 L ess th an 0.05 percent.

N ote:

changes in grade composition, whereas the change
in pay of office workers in industry excluded the
effects of shifts in employment among positions.
T a b l e 3 . P e r c e n t i n c r e a s e s in F e d e r a l c l a s s if ie d e m p lo y e e s '
s a l a r i e s , in a v e r a g e e a r n i n g s o f f a c t o r y p r o d u c tio n
w o r k e r s a n d o ffic e e m p lo y e e s , a n d in t h e C P I , 1 9 3 9 - 5 8
an d 1 9 5 5 -5 8

Item

F ed e ral classified em ployees:
B a sic p a y scales (affected b y legislation o n ly )..
A verage sala ry rates (affected b y legislation
an d in-grade in creases)_____________________
A verage salaries (affected b y legislation , ingrade increases, an d changes in occupation al
or grade com position of classified em ployees) .
F ac to ry p rodu ction w orkers:
A verage w eekly earn in gs-------- --------- ---------A verage hou rly earn ings (excluding overtim e) .
Office em ployees:
A ll railw ay office em ployees (straigh t-tim e
m o n th ly e a rn in g s)3_______________ _______
D iv isio n officers, a ssistan ts, an d staff a ssist­
a n ts .............. ............. ......................... ..................... ..
C h ief clerks an d other su p ervisors 3.......... ............
Other clerical em ployees 4---------- ----------------W om en office clerical em ployees, selected cities
(straigh t-tim e w eekly s a la r ie s ) :3
B o sto n ...............................................................................
N ew Y o rk C it y ____________________ __________
P h ila d e lp h ia _________________________________
A tla n ta ------ -------------------------- ----------------- D a lla s_____________ ________________ _________
M e m p h is------ -----------------------------------------C h ic a g o ..........................................................................
C lev elan d __________ _________ _______________
M in n eap o lis-S t. P a u l_____ __________________
L o s A n geles-L on g B e a c h _____________________
P o rtlan d , O reg.............................................. ...............
S an F ra n c isc o -O ak la n d _________________ ____
C on su m er Price In d e x ....................... ..................... ..........

A u g u st 1939 1 J u ly 1955
to J u ly 1958
to Ju ly
1958

97.2

1 0 .1

109.2

1 1 .0

156

17.4

262
232

9.4
13.7

129
135
177

28.5

(«)
(•)
00
(•)
(0)
00
(#)

(•)
00
00
00
00
110

21.9

14.3
15.3
16.4
16.1
14.8
13.7
15.2
19.6
13.7
14.8
14.5
14.6
8 .0

3 D a ta for factory p rodu ction w orkers a n d for railw ay office em ployees
w as co m puted from J u l y 1939.
3 C o m p u ted b y B u re a u of L ab o r S ta tistic s from In terstate Com m erce C om ­
m ission M -300 reports. T h e average w as com p u ted b y d iv id in g total com ­
p en sation for straig h t tim e actu ally w orked b y the n u m ber of em ployees
who received p a y du rin g the m onth.
3 In clu d es professional an d su bprofession al a ssistan ts, su p ervisory or chief
clerks (m ajor d ep artm e n ts), chief clerks (m inor d ep artm en ts), a ssistan t
chief clerks, an d su p ervisin g cashiers.
4 In clu d es clerks an d clerical sp ecialists, clerks, m ech an ical device opera­
tors (office), sten ographers and secretaries, sten ographers an d ty p ists, travel­
ing au d ito rs or accou n tan ts, an d m essengers an d office boys.
3 Su rv ey periods were as follows: B oston , A p ril 1955 an d Sep tem b er 1957;
N ew Y o rk C ity , M arch 1955 an d A p ril 1958; P h iladelp h ia, N ovem ber 1954
an d O ctober 1957; A tla n ta , M arch 1955 an d M a y 1958; D a lla s, Sep tem b er
1954 an d O ctober 1957; M em p h is, F eb ru ary 1955 an d Ja n u a r y 1958; C hicago,
A p ril 1955 an d A p ril 1958; C levelan d, O ctober 1954 an d Ju n e 1958; M in n e­
ap o lis-S t. P au l, N ovem ber 1954 an d Ja n u a r y 1958; L o s A n geles-L on g B each ,
M arch 1955 an d M arch 1958; P o rtlan d , O reg., A p ril 1955 an d A p ril 1958;
S an F ran cisco-O ak lan d , Ja n u a r y 1955 an d Ja n u a r y 1958.
3 D a t a n ot available.




J u ly 1, 1958
0 .4
5.8
19.5
16.9
15.7
11.6
11.3
7.6
11.1
100.0
921,153

B ecau se of roun din g, to tals m a y n ot eq u al 100.

1958 Legislative and In-Grade Increases

The Federal Employees Salary Increase Act of
1958 3 was signed by the President on June 20,
1958. Like the 1955 act, it provided for retroac­
tive payment of the increased scales; the new rates
were made effective from the first pay period in
January 1958. This act and other legislation
passed in May 1958 also raised the pay of certain
other Federal workers whose rates are determined
directly by congressional action.4
The rise in classified employees’ average salary
rates from mid-1957 to mid-1958 resulting from an
increase in the proportion of workers at the higher
pay steps within a grade was concentrated in the
higher pay grades. It occurred despite an increase
in the number of workers employed in these grades;
the entrance rates at which new workers usually
start ordinarily would reduce average salaries
within a grade. In December 1957, the Civil
Service Commission increased rates within certain
scientific and engineering occupations for all em­
ployees, even those newly hired, to the top step of
their respective grades; it was this action that was
responsible for most of the rise in average salary
rates traceable to in-grade pay increases. 5
3 P u b lic L a w 462, 85th C o n g., 2d sess.
4 T h ese w orkers in clu d ed legislativ e a n d ju d icial em ployees, em ployees
o f the D ep artm en t of M edicine a n d S u rgery o f the V eteran s A d m in istratio n ,
the F oreign Service, th e P o stal F ield Service, an d the A rm ed Forces. M o st of
the changes affecting the P o sta l F ield Service were m ad e in a bill signed in
M a y which pro v ided increases av eragin g 7H percent, p lu s an add itio n al 2M
percent “ tem p o rary ” cost-of-living increase for w orkers in the 6 low est grades;
h o w ev er,P u b lic L a w 462 exten ded the cost-of-living increase to the rem ain in g
grades o f the P o sta l F ield Service. C o m p en satio n o f m em bers of the arm ed
services w as increased b y from 6 to 47 percent, depen din g on length of service
an d ran k , b y another bill also sign ed in M a y . T h e r a y o f “ blue-coHar”
em ployees o f the F ed eral G overnm en t w as n ot affected b y these bills since
C on gress h as delegated au th o rity to set their p ay to wage boards.
5 F o r a d escription o f the C iv il Service regu lation s raisin g p a y to the top o f
the grad e, see W age C h ron ology N o . 13, F ed eral C lassificatio n A ct E m p lo y ­
ees, S u p p lem en t N o . 2, 1952-58 (in M o n th ly L a b o r R ev iew , D ecem ber 1958,
p p . 1382-1389).

24
Changes in Employment Among Grades
As indicated earlier, a substantial part of the
increase in average salaries between mid-1955 and
mid-1958 was traceable to an increase in the pro­
portion of workers in the higher salaried grades
(table 2). The most notable changes were a reduc­
tion in the proportion of workers classified in grade
GS-2, from 11 to 6 percent of all classified workers,
and an advance in the proportion in grades 12
through 15 from 8 to 11 percent.
A statement by the chairman of the U.S. Civil
Service Commission, Harris Ellsworth, before the
Subcommittee on Manpower Utilization of the
House Committee on Post Office and Civil Service
in December 1958 mentioned a number of tech­
nological and functional factors that have con­
tributed to changes in grade composition of the
Civil Service during the period since the early
1940's. He stated that “The adoption of improved
operating methods and techniques and the mech­
anization pf work processes have influenced grade

patterns in the Federal service over a period of
years. Routine tasks best lend themselves to
mechanization, and thousands of lower grade posi­
tions have disappeared because of photocopy
equipment, letter-writing machines, microfilm,
addressing machines, and data-processing equip­
ment. . . . As the Government has been forced
to hire additional scientists in such advanced fields
as physics, electronics, and aeronautics, the aver­
age grade level has been influenced accordingly.”
He also pointed out that with development of a
tight labor market, there has been a shift in classi­
fication of positions in borderline cases. Finally,
Mr. Ellsworth indicated that during the depression
of the 1930's, Government employees' positions
were classified very conservatively to maintain
some balance between Government and private
salaries but that, subsequently, as industrial sal­
aries increased more rapidly than the salaries of
employees in the Government service, a more
liberal approach to classification had been
adopted.

T a b le 4 . M in im u m a n d a v e r a g e s a la r ie s 1 o f F e d e r a l c la ss ifie d e m p lo y e e s , b y g r a d e , s e le c te d p e rio d s, 1 9 3 9 -5 8

G eneral schedule grade

1:
2:
3:
4:
5:
6:
7:
8:
9:
10:
11:
12:
13:
14:
15:
16:
17:
18:

M in im u m sala ry rate ---A verage sa la ry ....................
M in im u m salary ra te ___
A verage sa la ry ........ ...........
M in im u m salary ra te ___
A verage sa la r y _____ ____
M in im u m sa la ry ra te ___
A verage sa la r y ................ -M in im u m sala ry ra te ___
A verage sa la ry ....................
M in im u m salary ra te ___
A verage sa la ry ............ ........
M in im u m sala ry ra te ___
A verage sa la ry _____ ____
M in im u m salary ra te ___
A verage sa la ry .................. ..
M in im u m sala ry ra te ___
A verage sa la ry ...... .............
M in im u m salary ra te ___
A verage s a la r y ...................
M in im u m salary ra te ___
A verage sa la ry ------------M in im u m sala ry ra te ___
A verage sa la r y ...... .............
M in im u m salary ra te ___
A verage s a la r y ...................
M in im u m salary ra te ___
A verage sa la r y ....................
M in im u m salary ra te ___
A verage s a la r y ...................
M in im u m salary ra te ___
A verage sa la ry ....................
M in im u m salary ra te ___
A verage sa la ry ........ ...........
M in im u m salary ra te ___
A verage s a la r y ...................

A u g u st
1939

3 $1,180
1,223
1,440
1,489
1,620
1,683
1,800
1,867
2,000
2,099
2,300
2,414
2,600
2,704
2,900
3,020
3,200
3,298
3,500
3,620
3,800
3,974
4,600
4,797
5,600
5,793
6,500
6,850
8,000
8,460
(3)
(3)
(3)
(3)
(3)
(3)

J u ly 1,
1950

$2,200
2,356
2,450
2,639
2,650
2,866
2,875
3,103
3,100
3,405
3,450
3,780
3,825
4,154
4,200
4,553
4,600
4,923
5,000
5,279
5,400
5,734
6,400
6,759
7,600
7,931
8,800
9,150
10,000
10,577
11,200
11,232
12,200
12,288
14,000
14,000

J u l y 8,
1951

$2,500
2,596
2,750
2,861
2,950
3,119
3,175
3,398
3,410
3,681
3,795
4,111
4,205
4,495
4,620
4,942
5,060
5,346
5,500
5,741
5,940
6,230
7,040
7,360
8,360
8,652
9,600
9,880
10,800
11,245
12,000
12,044
13,000
13,045
14,800
14,800

J u l y 1,
1955

$2,690
2,913
2,960
3.186
3,175
3,446
3,415
3,738
3,670
4,129
4,080
4,566
4,525
4,960
4,970
5,499
5,440
5,825
5,915
6,344
6,390
6,768
7,570
7,975
8,990
9,381
10,320
10,682
11,610
12,034
12,900
13,125
13,975
14,122
14,800
14,800

» A verage salaries were obtain ed b y w eightin g each salary step w ith in the
grad e b y the n um ber of em ployees a t th a t step . In other w ords, th ey reflect
the effect of increases in basic sala ry scales a n d of m erit increases in p a y w ithin
the grade for each period.




J u l y 1,
1957

$2,690
2,951
2,960
3,155
3,175
3,433
3,415
3, 737
3,670
4,128
4,080
4, 541
4,525
4,967
4,970
5,437
5,440
5,861
5,915
6,348
6,390
6,862
7, 570
7,952
8,990
9,388
10,320
10,710
11,610
12,093
12,900
13,189
13,975
14,208
16,000
16,000

J u ly 1,
1958

$2,960
3,260
3,255
3,498
3,495
3,804
3, 755
4,126
4,040
4, 570
4,490
5,031
4,980
5,471
5,470
5,945
5,985
6,460
6,505
6,959
7,030
7,620
8,330
8,999
9,890
10, 593
11, 355
12,042
12, 770
13,513
14,190
14,657
15,375
15,768
17,500
17,500

P ercen t change to J u l y 1, 1958, from —
A u g u st
1939
150.8
166.6
126.0
134.9
115.7
126.0
108.6
121.0
102.0
117.7
95.2
108.4
91.5
102.3
88.6
96.9
87.0
95.9
85.9
92.2
85.0
91.7
81.1
87.6
76.6
82.9
74.7
75.8
59.6
59.7
(3)
(3)
(3)
(3)
(3)
(3)

J u ly 1,
1950
34.5
38.4
32.9
32.6
31.9
32.7
30.6
33.0
30.3
34.2
30.1
33.1
30.2
31.7
30.2
30.6
30.1
31.2
30.1
31.8
30.2
32.9
30.2
33.1
30.1
33.6
29.0
31.6
27.7
27.8
26.7
30.5
26.0
28.3
25.0
25.0

J u l y 8,
1951
18.4
25.6
18.4
22.3
18.5
22.0
18.3
21.4
18.5
24.2
18.3
22.4
18.4
21.7
18.4
20.3
18.3
20.8
18.3
21.2
18.4
22.3
18.3
22.3
18.3
22.4
18.3
21.9
18.2
20.2
18.3
21.7
18.3
20.9
18.2
18.2

J u l y 1,
1955
10.0
11.9
ia o
9 .8
10.1
10.4
10.0
10.4
10.1
10.7
10.0
10.2
10.1
10.3
10.1
8.1
10.0
10.9
10.0
9.7
10.0
12.6
10.0
12.8
10.0
12.9
10.0
12.7
10.0
12.3
10.0
11.7
10.0
11.7
18.2
18.2

J u l y 1,
1957
10.0
10.5
10.0
10.9
10.1
10.8
10.0
10.4
10.1
10.7
10.0
10.8
10.1
10.1
10.1
9 .3
10.0
10.2
10.0
9 .6
10.0
11.0
10.0
13.2
10.0
12.8
10.0
12.4
10.0
11.7
10.0
11.1
10.0
11.0
9.4
9 .4

* T h e m in im u m w as co m p u ted b y w eighting eq u a lly the base p a y for each
of the 3 grad es (S P -1 , S P -2 , a n d C A F -1 ) which were com bin ed un der the
general schedule.
* G rad es 16, 17, an d 18 were created un der the C lassification A ct of 1949
(O ct. 28,19(49).

25

Salary Changes Since 1939
The 1958 legislation brought the total increase
in basic scales for Federal Classification Act em­
ployees to 97 percent since 1939 (table 3). Over
the same period, in-grade pay increases also raised
the level of compensation; together with legislative
changes, these in-grade changes advanced average
salary rates about 109 percent. Average salaries,
reflecting not only these two factors but shifts in
the proportion of workers in various pay grades,
increased 156 percent. These measures of change
can be compared with an increase of 110 percent
in the Consumer Price Index, 168 percent in the
monthly pay of railroad office employees, and 232
and 262 percent, respectively, in the hourly and
6 See Salaries of C ity Public School Teachers, 1955-57 (in M onthly Labor
Review, A p ril 1958, pp. 384-387).




weekly pay of factory production workers. From
the 1938-39 to the 1956-57 school year, Urban
teachers’ salaries rose 132 percent.6
Salary increases since 1939 have varied widely
among the various grades of the general schedule
with the smallest proportionate increases taking
place in the top grades and the largest in the lowest
grades (table 4). Even if comparisons are limited
to those grades in which significant numbers of
workers are employed, increases in basic scales
varied from about 75 percent in grades 13 and 14,
to 126 percent in grade 2 and 116 percent in grade
3. Only the basic scales for the lowest 3 grades
and average salaries for the lowest 5 grades kept
pace with Jiving costs.

Federal Classified Employees’ Salary Changes, 1958—60

total wage bill by $90,908,1803 (1.6 percent).
The effect on salary levels of including the Nation’s
two newest States was minimal; only average
salary rates were changed, increasing by 0.1 per­
cent. Their inclusion produced minor variations
in the distribution of employment at the various
grades, however, because Alaska and Hawaii had
a higher proportion of Federal employees in the
five lowest grades and a much lower proportion in
grades 12 through 15 than did the rest of the
United States.

L e g i s l a t i o n enacted by the 86th Congress in
July 1960 increased basic salary scales of Federal
employees covered by the Classification Act1
an average of 7.7 percent.2 Average salary rates
rose somewhat less—7.3 percent—because the
effect of the legislated salary increase was offset
in part by a reduction in the proportion of workers
receiving more than the minimum scale for their
jobs. The general salary increase, combined
with an increase in the proportion of workers in
the higher grades between 1958 and 1960, ad­
vanced average salaries by 11.5 percent over that
period. Between 1958 and 1959, the index of
basic scales remained unchanged, while average
salary rates declined 0.3 percent and average
salaries rose 1.8 percent. (See table 1.)
Federal Classification Act employees stationed
in Alaska and Hawaii are included for the first
time in the 1960 indexes and other data used for
this report. With this addition, the total num­
ber of Federal employees included in this report
was increased by 15,676 (1.7 percent) and the

T a b le 1.

I ndexes

of

1 Salaries were increased by the Federal Employees’ Salary Increase Act of
1960 (P .L . 568). In 1960, there were also gains in the supplementary benefits
provided Federal employees. Legislation enacted by the 86th Congress in
September 1959 provided a voluntary health benefits program for Federal
employees, to be partly paid for by the Government. Effective July 1,1960,
the Government would contribute up to half the cost of employee member­
ship in a choice of several health plans, some of which continued protection
after retirement and provided “ catastrophic” benefits to help finance costs
of chronic or long-term illness or serious accident.
2 Each basic scale was raised 7.5 percent (rounded to the nearest $5) except
the highest grade, which was raised $1,000, or 5.7 percent; in addition, in-grade
increments were increased by amounts from $10 to $25, accounting for a
further 0.2-percent increase.
3 Excluding cost-of-living allowances of 25 percent in Alaska and 17.5 per.
cent in Hawaii provided these employees under Executive Order No.10000,

B asic Sa la r y S cales , A ve r a g e Sa la r y R a te s , a n d A ver a g e Sa l a r ie s 1 of F e d e r a l C la s s if ie d
E m p lo yees , 1939 a n d 1945-60
[1947-49-100]
B a sic sala ry scales

P eriod

A u g u st 1939............................
Ju n e 30,1945...........................
J u l y 1, 1946.............................
J u l y 1,1947.............................
J u l y 15,1948...........................
J u l y 1,1949.............................
J u l y 1,1950.............................
J u l y 8,1951.............................
J u l y 1, 1952.............................
J u l y 1 ,1953.............................
J u l y 1, 1954.............................
J u l y 1, 1955.............................
J u l y 1, 1956.............................
J u l y 1 ,1 9 5 7 ............................
J u l y 1,1958.............................
J u l y 1, 1 9 5 9 -.........................
J u l y 10, I960®..........................

A ll C lassifi­
cation A ct
em ployees
69.6
70.4
93.2
93.2
103.4
103.4
107.7
118.5
118.5
118.5
118.5
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
(<)

G en eral
schedule

70.9
71.0
93.5
93.5
103.3
103.3
107.4
118.0
118.0
118.0
118.0
«127.0
127.0
127.0
139.8
139.8
150.5

A verage sa la r y rates

C rafts, pro­
tective,
cu sto d ial

A ll C lassifi­
cation A ct
em ployees
68.2
*6 9 .0
90.6
92.3
103.5
104.2
109.6
119.3
119.6
120.7
121.8

62.0
68.3
91.1
91.1
104.4
104.4
109.2
121.0
121.0
121.0
121.0
(4)
(<)
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)

(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
h

(4)

i
Basic salary scales reflect only statutory changes in salaries, while average
salary rates show, in addition, the effect of m erit or in-grade salary increases.
Average salaries measure the effect not only of statutory changes in basic pay
scales and in-grade salary increases but also the effect of changes in the pro­
portion of workers employed in the various pay grades.
* Estimated by assuming the same distribution of employees among grades
and steps w ithin grades in 1945 as in 1939. Since there was little or no increase
In average rates because of in-grade increases during th is period, it was
assumed that the change in basic salary scales was virtu a lly the same as in
average salary rates.
* Not available.




26

G eneral
schedule

69.3
*6 9 .4
90.8
92.5
103.5
104.0
109.4
118.8
119.0
120.0
121.1
•1 3 0 .6
130.5
130.6
145.0
144.6
155.6

A verage salaries

C rafts, pro­
tective,
cu sto d ial

A ll C lassifi­
cation A ct
em ployees

59.5
*6 5 .5
88.8
90.3
104.4
105.3
112.2
123.8
124.7
126.1
127.3
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
<4)
(4)

61.4
(3)
87.7
92.3
103.1
104.6
112.6
121.4
124.0
127.1
129.4
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4)

G eneral
schedule

64.2
(*)
87.5
92.6
103.0
104.5
112.3
120.6
123.0
126.3
128.8
• 140.2
141.8
144.8
164.6
167.6
183.5

C rafts, p ro­
tective,
cu sto d ial
58.7
(*)

90.2
90.2
104.3
105.4
112.8
125.3
127.2
129.1
129.3

(4)
v)
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4

• Index discontinued because the general schedule now covers all Classifi­
cation Act employees.
• Data have been adjusted to include those employees formerly under the
CPC schedule who are now covered by the general schedule; about two-thirds
of the employees were transferred to wage-board classifications and one-third
to the general schedule.
• Based on data including 15,676 employees in Alaska and Hawaii; cost-ofliving allowances provided these employees were excluded. The addition of
these employees changed only the index of average salary rates, which would
have been 0.1 point lower w ithout their inclusion.

27
T

a b l e

2.

P

e r c e n t

D

is t r ib u t io n

o f

G

Sc

e n e r a l

E

h e d u l e

m p l o ye e s

b y

G

r a d e

,

Se

P

le c t e d

e r io d s

,

1 9 3 9 -6 0

Ju n e 30, 1960
A u g u st
1939

G en eral schedule grade

J u l y 1,
1946

J u l y 8,
1951

J u l y 1,
1950

J u l y 1,
1954

J u l y 1,
1956

J u l y 1,
1955

J u l y 1,
1957

J u l y 1,
1958

1..........................................................
2..........................................................
3 ..........................................................
4........ .................................................
5 a n d 6_______________________
7 an d 8..............................................
9 a n d 10............................................
11........................................................
12 th rou gh 15-- .............................
16 th ro u gh 18.................................

13.1
18.1
14.7
11.5
17.2
10.4
6.8
3.8
4.4

2.5
19.3
22.8
13.6
13.9
11.6
7.6
4.0
4.7

1.8
14.5
20.6
14.8
14.8
12.3
9.2
5.1
6.9
(»)

1.4
16.6
21.8
13.9
14.5
11.7
8.7
4.8
6.6
(J)

1.1
11.5
21.0
15.8
14.9
12.1
10.1
5.8
7.8
.1

1.1
10.9
20.9
15.8
14.8
11.8
10.1
6.1
8 .4
.1

0 .7
8 .9
21.4
16.4
15.2
11.9
10.2
6.3
8 .9
.1

0.5
7.2
20.8
16.8
15.7
11.5
10.6
6.9
9 .9
.1

0 .4
5 .8
19.5
16.9
15.7
11.6
11.3
7.6
11.1
.1

T o t a l.....................................
N u m b e r of e m ployees................

100.0
234,067

100.0
893,653

100.0
701,824

100.0
885,925

100.0
864,126

100.0
886,512

100.0
908,535

100.0
927,822

J u l y 1,
1959

100.0
921,153

i
In clu d es 15,676 em ployees in A la sk a an d H aw aii.
* L e ss th an 0.05 percent.
T

a b l e

3.

M

in im u m

a n d

A

v e r a g e

S

0.2
4.1
16.7
16.8
16.8
11.4
11.7
8.7
13.4
.2

0. 44.7
18.1
16.8
16.2
11.6
11.7
8.2
12.2
.1
100.0
931,105

W ith
A lask a
an d
H a w a ii1*
0 .3
4.1
16.7
16.8
16.7
11.5
11.7
8.7
13.2
.2

100.0 1
938,319 j

100.0
953,995

N o t e : B ecau se of roun din g, to tals m ay n o t e q u al 100.

a l a r ie s

I

1

n d e x

o f

,

S

F

C

e d e r a l

e le c t e d

P

l a s s if ie d

e r io d s

J u l y 1., 1959
G eneral schedule grade
an d
C o n su m er P rice In d ex

W ithout
A la sk a
an d
H aw aii

,

E

m p l o y e e s

,

J u l y 10, 1960

J u l y 1,
1950

J u l y 1,
1955

J u l y 1,
1958

M in im u m sala ry r a te . 4 $1,180
1,223
A verage sa la ry ...............
M in im u m sala ry r a te .
1,440
1,489
A verage sa la ry ...............
M in im u m sala ry r a te .
1,620
1,683
A verage sa la ry ...............
M in im u m sala ry r a te .
1,800
1,867
A verage sa la ry ...............
2,000
M in im u m sala ry r a te .
2,099
A verage sa la ry ...............
M in im u m sala ry r a te .
2,300
2,414
A verage sa la ry ...............
M in im u m sa la ry r a te .
2,600
2,704
A verage sa la ry ---------M in im u m sala ry r a te .
2,900
A verage sa la ry ...............
3,020
M in im u m sa la ry r a te .
3,200
3,298
A verage sa la r y ...............
M in im u m sa la ry ra te .
3,500
3,620
A verage sa la ry ...............
3,800
M in im u m sa la ry rate .
3,974
A verage sa la ry ...............
4,600
M in im u m sala ry rate .
4,797
A verage sa la ry ...............
5,600
M in im u m s a la ry rate .
5,793
A verage sa la r y ...............
M in im u m sa la ry r a te .
6,500
A verage sa la r y ...............
6,850
M in im u m sala ry ra te .
8,000
A verage sa la r y ...............
8,460
M in im u m sala ry ra te .
(8)
A verage sa la r y ...............
(8)
M in im u m sala ry r a te .
(8)
A verage sa la r y ...............
(*)
M in im u m sala ry r a te .
(8)
A verage sa la r y ...............
(8)

$2,200
2,356
2,450
2,639
2,650
2,866
2,875
3,103
3,100
3,405
3,450
3,780
3,825
4,154
4,200
4,553
4,600
4,923
5,000
5,279
5,400
5,734
6,400
6,759
7,600
7,931
8,800
9,150
10,000
10,577
11,200
11,232
12,200
12,288
14,000
14,000

$2,690
2,913
2,960
3,186
3,175
3,446
3,415
3,738
3,670
4,129
4,080
4,566
4,525
4,960
4,970
5,499
5,440
5,825
5,915
6,344
6,390
6,768
7,570
7,975
8,990
9,381
10,320
10,682
11,610
12,034
12,900
13,125
13,975
14,122
14,800
14,800

$2,960
3,260
3,255
3,498
3,495
3,804
3,755
4,126
4,040
4,570
4,490
5,031
4,980
5,471
5, 470
5,945
5,985
6,460
6,505
6,959
7,030
7,620
8,330
8,999
9,890
10,593
11,355
12,042
12,770
13,513
14,190
14,657
15,375
15,768
17,500
17,500

$2,960
3,271
3,255
3,507
3,495
3,814
3,755
4,133
4,040
4,561
4,490
4,996
4,980
5,448
5,470
5,961
5,985
6,438
6,505
6,938
7,030
7,567
8,330
8,924
9,890
10,524
11,355
11,968
12,770
13,465
14,190
14,551
15,375
15,670
17,500
17,500

102.9

114.7

123.9

124.9

G

r a d e

,

a n d

C

o n su m e r

P

r ic e

P ercen t increase to J u l y 10, 1960, from - - a

W ith ou t W ith
W ith ou t W ith
A la sk a
A lask a
A la sk a
A la sk a A u g u st
an d
an d
an d
an d
1939
H aw aii H aw aii * H aw aii H a w a ii*

A u g u st
1939

b y

1 9 3 9 -6 0

J u l y 1,1959
J u l y 1, J u l y 1, J u l y 1,
1950
1955
1958
W ithout W ith
A lask a A lask a
an d
an d
H aw aii H aw aii

G e n e r a l Sch ed ule
Grade
1:
2:
3:
4:
6:
6:
7:
g:

10:
11:
12:
13:
14:
15:
16:
17:
18:

C o n su m er P rice In d ex
(1947-49=100)....................

59.0

i M in im u m salaries are the salaries p aid a t the first ste p in each grade.
Average salaries were obtain ed b y w eighting each sala ry step w ith in the grade
b y th e n u m ber of em ployees a t th a t step . Therefore, th e y reflect th e effect
of increases in b asic sala ry scales a n d of m erit increases in p a y w ith in th e
grade.
* E xclu d es cost-of-living allow ances p rovided em ployees in A la sk a an d
H aw aii.




$2,960
3,265
3,255
3,507
3,495
3,814
3,755
4,133
4,040
4,561
4,490
4,994
4,980
5,448
5,470
5,960
5,985
6,437
6,505
6,936
7,030
7,567
8,330
8,925
9,890
10,523
11,355
11,968
12,770
13,464
14,190
14,551
15,375
15,670
17,500
17,500

$3,185
3,548
3,500
3,762
3,760
4,111
4,040
4,455
4,345
4,921
4,830
5,402
5,355
5,893
5,885
6,411
6,435
6,931
6,995
7,476
7,560
8,107
8,955
9,554
10,635
11,263
12,210
12,818
13,730
14,443
15,255
15,648
16,530
16,863
18.500
18.500
126.6

$3,185
3,540
3,500
3,762
3,760
4,111
4,040
4,455
4,345
4,921
4,830
5,401
5,355
5,893
5,885
6,411
6,435
6,931
6,995
7,476
7,560
8,107
8,955
9,555
10,635
11,262
12,210
12,818
13,730
14,443
15,255
15,648
16,530
16,863
18,500
18,500

169.9
190.1
143.1
152.7
132.1
144.3
124.4
138.6
117.3
134.4
110.0
123.8
106.0
117.9
102.9
112.3
101.1
110.2
99.9
106.5
98.9
104.0
94.7
99.2
89.9
94.4
87.8
87.1
71.6
70.7
(8)
(8)
(8)
(8)
(8)
(8)

44.8
50.6
42.9
42.6
41.9
43.4
40.5
43.6
40.2
44.5
40.0
42.9
40.0
41.9
40.1
40.8
39.9
40.8
39.9
41.6
40.0
41.4
39.9
41.4
39.9
42.0
38.8
40.1
37.3
36.6
36.2
39.3
35.5
37.2
32.1
32.1

18.4
21.8
18.2
18.1
18.4
19.3
18.3
19.2
18.4
19.2
18.4
18.3
18.3
18.8
18.4
16.6
18.3
19.0
18.3
17.8
18.3
19.8
18.3
19.8
18.3
20.1
18.3
20.0
18.3
20.0
18.3
19.2
18.3
19.4
25.0
25.0

7 .6
8 .8
7.5
7.5
7 .6
8.1
7.6
8 .0
7.5
7.7
7 .6
7.4
7 .5
7.7
7 .6
7 .8
7.5
7 .3
7.5
7 .4
7.5
6 .4
7.5
6 .2
7.5
6 .3
7.5
6 .4
7.5
6 .9
7.5
6 .8
7.5
6 .9
5.7
5 .7

7 .6
8.5
7.5
7.3
7.6
7.8
7 .6
7 .8
7.5
7.9
7.6
8.1
7.5
8.2
7 .6
7.5
7.5
7.7
7.5
7 .8
7.5
7.1
7.5
7.1
7.5
7.0
7.5
7.1
7.5
7.3
7.5
7.5
7.5
7.6
5.7
5.7

114.6

23.0

10.4

2 .2

1.4

7 .6
8.4
7.5
7.3
7.6
7 .8
7.6
7.8
7.5
7.9
7.6
8.1
7.5
8 .2
7 .6
7 .6
7.5
7 .7
7.5
7 .8
7.5
7.1
7.5
7.1
7 .5
7.0
7.5
7.1
7.5
7.3
7.5
7.5
7.5
7.6
5.7
5.7

* 1960 d a ta w ith o u t A lask a an d H aw aii were u sed to co m p u te all changes
except from “ J u l y 1,1959, w ith A lask a a n d H a w aii.”
4
T h e m in im u m w as com p u ted b y w eightin g e q u ally the base p a y for each
of the 3 grades (su bprofessional grades 1 a n d 2 an d clerical, ad m in istrativ e,
an d fiscal grade 1) th a t were com bin ed in to th is general schedule grade.
8 G rades 16,17, an d 18 were created b y the C lassificatio n A ct of 1949.

28
The increased proportions of Federal employees
in the higher grades continued a trend that has
been evident for at least the past decade. Since
1939, the proportion in grades 9 through 15 has
risen from 15 to 34 percent. This situation is
directly related to the increasing complexity and
diversification of governmental activities. To

perform its functions effectively, the Government,
like American industry, has needed larger numbers
of highly trained and specialized personnel. To
a more limited extent, competition for the services
of workers trained in certain professional fields
has also tended to inflate the number of employees
in the higher grades.

Increase in Average Salary Rates1 of Federal Classified Employees/ by Grade/ August 1939
to July 1960

1 A v erage salaries were obtain ed b y w eightin g each sala ry ste p w ith in the
grade b y the n u m ber of em ployees a t th a t ste p . Therefore, th ey reflect th e
effect of sta tu to ry changes in b a sic p a y scales a n d in-grade sala ry increases.




D a ta exclude 15,676 em ployees in A la sk a an d H aw aii,
^Grades 16, 17, a n d 18, w hich w ere created b y th e C lassificatio n A c t of
1949, are o m itted .

29

A t the other end of the scale, the introduction
of mechanization and improved techniques had
reduced the number of employees in some of the
less skilled positions,4 even as governmental
activities were expanding. Between 1958 and
1960, the proportion of employees in grade 2 was
reduced almost 2 percentage points, and in grade 3
almost 3 percentage points (table 2). The number
of employees in these two grades, which comprise
21 percent of all classified employees, declined
from 233,052 to 195,170, or 16 percent.
From 1958 to 1960, increased proportions of
employees in the lower steps of the various grades
(mostly new workers or workers promoted into
the lower steps of higher grades) caused average
salary rates, affected by statutory changes and
in-grade increases, to rise less than basic pay
scales— 7.3 percent as compared with 7.7 percent.
Near the top of the scale, in grades 11 through 14,
for example, the increase in average salary rates
was more than 1 percentage point under the in­
crease in basic pay scales. (See table 3.)
Since the period from July 1958 to July 1960
was one of relative price stability, average salaries
(affected by statutory changes and in-grade
increases combined with the number of workers
in various pay grades) of employees under the
Federal Classification Act system rose more than
did the Consumer Price Index, 11.5 percent as
compared with 2.2 percent.

panying chart. While average salaries in the
lowest general schedule grade advanced 190 per­
cent, the corresponding increase for grade 15 (the
highest grade in effect during the whole period)
was about 70 percent. Only in the seven lowest
pay grades did average salaries keep pace with
the Consumer Price Index, which advanced 115
percent from 1939 to July 1960. Dollar increases
also varied widely among pay grades, ranging from
$2,325 for the lowest general schedule grade to
almost $6,000 for grade 15.
These marked differences in salary trends among
grades have resulted from legislation that pro­
vided identical dollar increases for all grades, or a
percentage increase combined with minimum and
maximum dollar ceilings that brought about
higher percent increases in the lower grades, or a
scale of decreasing percent increases for the higher
paid employees. This situation was particularly
prevalent between 1939 and 1951. Since 1955,
the existing relationship between the grades has
been maintained to a much greater extent than
in the earlier years by across-the-board percent
increases. In 1939, the basic salary of the highest
grade, equivalent to G S-15, was about four times
as great as that of the equivalent of the G S-4,
the grade with the highest concentration of
employees in 1960. By 1960, the basic salary of
the G S-15 was only about three times that of the
G S -4.

Long-Term Trends
Between 1939 and 1960, basic pay scales of
Federal employees were slightly more than
doubled by legislative action; the increase in
these scales averaged 112 percent. Average salary
rates rose 125 percent in this period, while the
index of average salaries rose 186 percent.
The increase in salaries has varied widely among
Federal pay grades, as indicated by the accom­




4 In some agencies, automation has had such an “unfavorable outcome for
employees” that more than one-third of them have been laid off, according
to testimony before a congressional committee in 1959 and 1960. These
hearings were conducted by the Subcommittee on Census and Government
Statistics of the House of Representatives Committee on Post Office and
Civil Service to determine the extent of office automation in the Federal
Government and to explore the implications of these technological changes
for Federal clerical workers. Material presented in these hearings concerning
the impact of office automation on employees (primarily clerical) was sum­
marized in Office Automation in the Federal Government (in Monthly Labor
Review, September 1960, pp. 933-938).

F ed eral

C la s s ifie d

E m p lo y e e s ’

About 1 million workers are now em­
ployed under the Classification Act of
1949— about 43 percent of the 2.3 mil­
lion Federal civilian employees.
Of
these, slightly more than a fifth are em­
ployed in professional occupations. Most
of the remainder are in clerical or ad­
ministrative work; a few are doing cus­
todial work.
The attached tables and charts bring*
up to date information on the pay of
workers covered by the Classification
Act. Three measures of change in pay
are presented: (1) Basic pay scales,
reflecting only legislative changes in
pay; (2 ) the change in average salary
rates, influenced both by legislative
changes and by changes in the propor­
tion of workers receiving pay above the
minimum of the grade as a result of
in-grade increases; and (3) changes in
average salaries, influenced not only by
these factors but by changes in the pro­
portion of workers in the various pay
grades.
During the period from July 10, I960,
to July 1, 1961, basic pay scales were
not revised. With an expansion of ap­
proximately 3 percent in the total num­
ber of workers employed under the Clas­
sification Act, plus promotion of some
workers to higher grades and a conse­
quent increase in the proportion of work­
ers at entrance rates within their grade,
the average number of step or in-grade
increases remained unchanged. Conse­
quently, average salary rates were the
same at the end as at the beginning of
the period. However, an increase in
the proportion of workers employed in
grades 5 and 6 and grades 11 through
15 raised average salaries approxi­
mately 1. 2 percent (table 1).
Since the beginning of World War II,
the three m e a s u r e s of pay trends have
diverged substan tially. In 1939, r e l a ­
tively few w o rk e rs w ere paid m o re than
the m inim um rate for their g rad e; until



S a la r y

C h an ges,

1 9 6 0 — 61

1941 there was no legislative require­
ment that all workers with satisfactory
ratings receive automatic increases in
pay. As a consequence of legislation
approved August 1, 1941, the proportion
of workers paid above the minimum of
the grade is substantially greater today
than it was in 1939, and average salary
rates have risen more than have basic
salary scales----124.4 compared with
112.4 percent. Marked changes in grade
structure in the Federal Service, sum­
marized in table 2 , increased average
salaries much more than salary rates.
Over the 22-year period, the index of
average salaries rose 189 percent. The
change in grade structure reflects both
a substantial increase in the proportion
of professional workers, growing out of
the increased need for highly trained
specialists, 1 and a concurrent mechani­
zation of routine clerical and bookkeep­
ing tasks which has reduced the need
for workers in the lower pay grades,
as well as a liberalization of classifi­
cation reflecting a tightening of the labor
market.
Increases in average salaries since
1939 have been proportionately greater
in the lower pay grades than in the
higher ones (table 3). Some of the leg­
islative increases in salaries were pro­
portionately smaller for the higher pay
than for the lower pay grades, while
others that established a uniform per­
centage increase in pay for the middle
pay grades included a dollar minimum
and maximum that resulted in lower
percentage increases for the highest pay
than for the lowest pay grades. From
1939 to 1961 , average salaries rose
188.6 percent in grade 1, and 138.6 per­
cent in grade 4, but 70.4 percent in
grade 15. As a consequence of the
greater increase in pay for lower
* Professional workers now make up more than
22 percent of the classified employees, compared with
fewer than 13 percent in 1949.

30

31

grades, the maximum pay in the clas­
sified service now for grade 18 is 5.8
times the minimum entrance salary
(grade 1), whereas in 1939 the maxi­
mum salary paid in the top grade that
existed at that time (grade 15) was
7. 1 times the minimum pay for grade l.2
From 1939 to 1961, all three measures
of change in salaries of Federal classi­
fied workers lagged behind the increase
in factory workers ' average weekly and
hourly earnings; basic pay scales and
average salary rates also rose less than
did average monthly pay of railroad of­
fice employees, and, as shown by other
Bureau reports,
city public school
teachers, or firefighters and police pa­
trolmen; basic salary scales did not
keep up with the rise in the Consumer




Price Index (tables 4 and 5). During
the past decade, however, all three
measures of Federal pay rose more
than the Consumer Price Index; average
salaries of Federal workers, reflecting
changes in grade structure, rose some­
what more than did factory workers ' or
railroad office employees ' pay or weekly
earnings of women office clerical work­
ers in 1Zmajor metropolitan areas from
1951 or 1952 to 1961. Basic pay scales
and average salary rates, however, con­
tinued to lag behind pay of these three
groups and all three measures of Fed­
eral pay failed to keep pace with pay
of city public school teachers or fire­
fighters and police patrolmen.
u
Maximum pay in grade 15 at present is 4. 7 times
the minimum for grade 1.

32
Table 1

Indexes of basic salary scales, average salary rates, and average salaries * of Federal
classified employees covered by the general schedule, ^ 1939 and 1945—
61

(1957-59 s 100)
Period

August 19 3 9 ---------------------------June 30, 1945 -----------------------July 1, 1946 -------------------------July 1, 1947 -------------------------July 15, 1948 -----------------------July 1, 1949 -------------------------July 1, 1950 -------------------------July 8, 1 9 5 1 -------------------------July 1, 1952 -------------------------July 1, 1953 -------------------------July 1, 1954 -------------------------July 1, 1955 2 -----------------------July 1, 1956 -------------------------July 1, 1957 -------------------------July 1, 1958 -------------------------July 1, 1959 -------------------------July 10, 1960 5- ---------------------July 1, 1 9 6 1 s ------------------------

Basic
salary
scales
5 2 .3
5 2 .4
6 9 .0
6 9 .0
76 .2
76 .2
79.3
87 .1
87 .1
87 .1
87.1
93. 7
93. 7
93. 7
1 0 3 .2
1 0 3 .2
111.1
111.1

Average
salary
rates
4 9 .5
34 9 .5
6 4 .8
6 6 .0
73 .9
74 .2
78.1
8 4 .8
8 4 .9
85. 7
8 6 .4
9 3 .2
93.1
9 3 .2
1 0 3 .5
1 0 3.2
111.1
111.1

(1947-49 = 100)
Average
salaries

4 0 .4
(4)
5 5 .0
5 8 .2
6 4 .8
65. 7
70 .6
7 5 .8
7 7 .4
7 9 .4
8 1 .0
8 8 .2
8 9 .2
91 .1
1 0 3 .5
1 0 5 .4
1 1 5 .4
1 1 6.8

Basic
salary
scales

Average
salary
rates

7 0 .9
7 1 .0
9 3 .5
9 3 .5
1 0 3.3
10 3.3
1 0 7 .4
1 1 8 .0
1 1 8 .0
1 1 8 .0
1 1 8 .0
1 2 7 .0
1 2 7 .0
1 2 7 .0
1 3 9 .8
1 3 9 .8
1 5 0 .5
1 5 0 .5

6 9 .3
36 9 .4
9 0 .8
9 2 .5
1 0 3 .5
1 0 4 .0
1 0 9 .4
1 1 8 .8
1 1 9 .0
1 2 0 .0
121.1
1 3 0 .6
1 3 0 .5
1 3 0 .6
1 4 5 .0
1 4 4 .6
1 5 5 .6
1 5 5 .6

Average
salaries
6 4 .2
(4)
8 7 .5
9 2 .6
1 0 3 .0
1 0 4 .5
11 2.3
12 0.6
1 2 3 .0
12 6.3
1 2 8 .8
1 4 0 .2
1 4 1 .8
1 4 4 .8
16 4.6
1 6 7.6
1 8 3 .5
185. 7

Basic salary scales reflect only statutory changes in salaries.
Average salary rates show, in addition, the effect of merit or in-grade salary increases.
Average salaries measure the effect not only of statutory changes in basic pay scales and in-grade salary in­
creases, but also the effect of changes in the proportion of workers employed in the various pay grades.
^ Data for Classification Act and Crafts, Protective, and Custodial employees have been incorporated into the
General Schedule indexes.
Since July 1, 1955, the General Schedule has covered all Classification Act employees.
At that time about one-third of the approximately 10 0,00 0 employees formerly covered by the Crafts, Protective,
and Custodial schedule were transferred to the General Schedule; the remaining two-thirds were transferred to wageboard classifications along with approximately 2 ,5 0 0 workers formerly under the General Schedule. There were only
minor differences among the indexes in the years prior to 1955.
3 Estimated by assuming the same distribution of employees among grades and steps within grades in 1945 as
in 1939.
Since there was little or no increase in average rates because of in-grade increases during this period, it
was assumed that the change in basic salary scales was virtually the same as in average salary rates.
4 Not available.
3
Based on data including 15,676 employees in Alaska and Hawaii in 1960, 15, 784 employees in 1961. Costof-living allowances provided these employees, were excluded. The inclusion of these employees did not affect basic
salary scales.
In 1960 it changed only the index of average salary rates which would have been 0 .1 point lower without their
inclusion. In 1961 average salary rates and average salaries would have been 0. 3 and 0. 2 points lower, respectively,
without inclusion of employees in Alaska and Hawaii.




33
Table 2. Percent distribution of general schedule employees by grade, selected periods, 1939—
61
General schedule
grade

August
1939

July 1,
1946

July 1,
1950

July 8,
1951

July 1,
1954

12 through 15 -----------------------------16 through 18 ------------------------------

13. 1
18. 1
14. 7
1 1 .5
1 7 .2
1 0 .4
6 .8
3 .8
4 .4
-

2 .5
19.3
2 2 .8
1 3 .6
1 3 .9
1 1 .6
7.6
4 .0
4. 7

1 .8
14. 5
2 0 .6
14. 8
14. 8
12 .3
9. 2
5. 1
6. 9

1 .4
1 6 .6
2 1 .8
1 3 .9
1 4 .5
11. 7
8. 7
4 .8
6 .6

(M

(*)_

1 .1
11. 5
2 1 .0
1 5 .8
1 4 .9
12. 1
10. 1
5 .8
7 .8
.1

T o t a l ----------------------------------

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

234, 067

893,653

701,824

885,92 5

864,126

1
2
3
4

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5 and 6 ---------------------------------------7 and 8 ---------------------------------------9 and 10 -------------------------------------1 1 -------------------------------------------------

Number of
employees

--------------------------------

-

July 1,
1958

July 1,
1959

July 10
I960 2

July 1,
19612

12 through 15 -----------------------------16 through 18 ------------------------------

0. 7
8 .9
2 1 .4
1 6 .4
1 5 .2
1 1 .9
1 0 .2
6 .3
8. 9
.1

0 .4
5 .8
19. 5
1 6 .9
15. 7
1 1 .6
11 .3
7.6
11. 1
.1

0 .4
4. 7
18. 1
16. 8
16. 2
1 1 .6
11. 7
8. 2
1 2 .2
.1

0 .3
4 .1
16. 7
1 6 .8
16. 7
1 1 .5
11. 7
8. 7
13. 2
.2

0 .2
3. 5
15. 7
16. 8
17. 1
11. 5
11. 7
9. 2
1 4 .0
.2

T o t a l ----------------------------------

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

100. 0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

90 8,53 5

92 1,15 3

93 1,105

July 1,
1956
1
2
3
4

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5 and 6 ---------------------------------------7 and 8 ---------------------------------------9 and 10 -------------------------------------1 1 -------------------------------------------------

Number of
employees

--------------------------------

1 Less than 0. 05 percent.
2 Beginning in 1960, data include employees in Alaska and Hawaii.
15 ,676 ; in 1961 they totaled 1 5 ,7 8 4 .
NOTE:

Because of rounding, totals may not equal 100.




95 3,99 5 .

988,241

In 1960 these employees numbered

34

Table 3.

Minimum and average salaries1 of Federal classified employees, by grade,
and Consumer Price Index, selected periods, 1939-61

General schedule grade
and
Consumer Price Index

August
1939

July i ,
1950

July 1,
1955

July l ,
1958

July 10,
1960 2

July 1,
19612

$ 1 ,1 8 0
1 ,2 23
1 ,4 4 0
1 ,4 8 9
1 ,6 2 0
1 ,6 83
1 ,8 0 0
1 ,8 6 7
2 ,0 0 0
2 ,0 9 9
2 ,3 0 0
2 ,4 1 4
2 ,6 0 0
2 ,7 0 4
2 ,9 0 0
3 ,0 2 0
3 ,2 0 0
3 ,2 9 8
3 ,5 0 0
3 ,6 2 0
3 ,8 0 0
3 ,9 7 4
4 ,6 0 0
4, 797
5 ,6 0 0
5 ,7 9 3
6 ,5 0 0
6 ,8 5 0
8 ,0 0 0
8 ,4 6 0

$ 2 ,2 0 0
2 ,3 6 5
2 ,4 5 0
2 ,6 3 9
2 ,6 5 0
2 ,8 6 6
2 ,8 7 5
3 ,1 03
3 ,1 0 0
3 ,4 0 5
3 ,4 5 0
3 ,7 8 0
3 ,8 2 5
4 ,1 5 4
4, 200
4, 553
4 ,6 0 0
4 ,9 2 3
5 ,0 0 0
5 ,2 7 9
5 ,4 0 0
5 ,7 3 4
6 ,4 0 0
6 ,7 5 9
7 ,6 00
7, 931
8 ,8 0 0
9 ,1 5 0
10 ,0 0 0
1 0 ,5 7 7
11 ,2 0 0
1 1 ,232
1 2 ,2 0 0
12 ,288
1 4 ,000
1 4 ,000

$ 2 ,6 9 0
2 ,9 1 3
2 ,9 6 0
3 ,1 8 6
3 ,1 7 5
3 ,4 4 6
3 ,4 1 5
3, 738
3 ,6 7 0
4 ,1 2 9
4 ,0 8 0
4, 566
4, 525
4 ,9 6 0
4 ,9 7 0
5 ,4 9 9
5 ,4 4 0
5 ,8 2 5
5 ,9 1 5
6 ,3 4 4
6 ,3 9 0
6 ,7 6 8
7 ,5 7 0
7 ,9 75
8 ,9 9 0
9,3 81
1 0 ,3 2 0
1 0 ,682
1 1 ,6 1 0
1 2 ,0 3 4
1 2 ,9 0 0
1 3 ,125
13 ,9 7 5
1 4 ,122
1 4 ,8 0 0
1 4 ,8 0 0

$ 2 ,9 6 0
3 ,2 6 0
3 ,2 5 5
3 ,4 9 8
3 ,4 9 5
3 ,8 0 4
3 ,7 5 5
4 ,1 2 6
4 ,0 4 0
4 ,5 7 0
4 ,4 9 0
5,031
4, 980
5,471
5 ,4 7 0
5 ,9 4 5
5 ,9 8 5
6 ,4 6 0
6 ,5 0 5
6 ,9 5 9
7 ,0 3 0
7 ,6 20
8 ,3 3 0
8, 999
9, 890
10,593
11 ,3 5 5
12 ,042
12, 770
13,513
14 ,1 9 0
1 4 ,6 5 7
15 ,375
15, 768
1 7 ,5 0 0
17 ,5 0 0

$ 3 ,1 8 5
3 ,5 4 0
3 ,5 0 0
3 ,7 6 2
3, 760
4,1 11
4 ,0 4 0
4, 455
4 ,3 4 5
4, 921
4, 830
5,401
5 ,3 5 5
5, 893
5, 885
6,4 11
6 ,4 3 5
6,9 31
6 ,9 9 5
7,476
7,5 60
8 ,1 0 7
8 ,9 5 5
9 ,5 5 5
10 ,635
11 ,262
1 2 ,210
1 2 ,818
1 3 ,730
14,443
15 ,255
15 ,648
16 ,5 3 0
16,863
18 ,5 0 0
1 8 ,500

$ 3 ,1 8 5
3 ,5 2 4
3 ,5 0 0
3, 754
3, 760
4 ,1 0 2
4 ,0 4 0
4 ,4 5 6
4 ,3 4 5
4, 931
4, 830
5 ,4 5 6
5, 355
5, 890
5, 885
6 ,4 4 4
6 ,4 3 5
6 ,9 2 9
6 ,9 9 5
7 ,4 8 7
7 ,5 6 0
8,071
8 ,9 5 5
9 ,5 0 5
10 ,635
1 1 ,194
1 2 ,2 1 0
12 ,742
1 3 ,730
1 4 ,4 0 7
15 ,2 5 5
1 5 ,656
1 6 ,5 3 0
16 ,852
18 ,5 0 0
18 ,5 0 0

1 0 2 .9

114. 7

1 2 3 .9

1 2 6 .6

128.1

General schedule grade
1:
2:
3:
4:
5:
6:
7:
8:
9:
10:
11:
12:
13:
14:
15:
16:
17:
18:

Minimum salary rate ■*------- — ------- ----- Average salary------------------------------------ —
Minimum salary rate------- ------------- -— —
Average salary------- ----------------------------—
Minimum salary rate-----------------------------Average salary---------------------------------------Minimum salary rate — — ----- — - — ------Average salary --------------------------------------Minimum salary rate-----------------------------Average salary ---------- -— --------- — - — —
Minimum salary rate — -------------------- --—
Average salary -------- --------------- -— -------Minimum salary rate-----— ------- — -------Average salary--------------------------------------Minimum salary rate — — — — -----------Average salary — ----- -------------- ------- ------Minimum salary rate — -------------------------Average salary------------------------------ -------Minimum salary rate------------ -— ----------Average salary----- ----------------- ---------------Minimum salary rate - — — — — — — —
Average salary------- — --------- — --------------Minimum salary rate — ------- — — « — —
Average salary — — ----- ----------- — — ------Minimum salary rate
— ---------- —
Average salary ------------ — - — — - —
Minimum salary rate — — -------- -------- —
Average salary----- - - - ----- ----- — ------------Minimum salary rate -------- ------------ -— Average salary — ------------— — — — ——
Minimum salary rate---------- ------- ------- —
Average salary------------------ — ------ — ----Minimum salary rate ---------- — ------- ------Average salary------- — ---------- ----------------Minimum salary rate — - — -------------------Average salary — — — ----- — — - — - — —

Consumer Price Index (1947-49=100) ------

...

(4 )
(4 )
(4)
(4 )
(4 )
(4 )
5 9 .0

Minimum salaries are the salaries paid at the first step in each grade.
Average salaries were obtained by
weighting each salary step within the grade by the number of employees at that step.
Therefore, they reflect the
effect of increases in basic salary scales and of merit increases in pay within the grade.
2 Excludes cost-of-living allowances provided employees in Alaska and Hawaii.
3 The minimum was computed by weighting equally the base pay for each of the 3 grades (subprofessional
grades 1 and 2 and clerical, administrative, and fiscal grade 1) that were combined into this general schedule grade.
4 Grades 16, 17, and 18 were created by the Classification Act of 1949.




35
Table 4.

Percent change in minimum and average salaries* of Federal classified employees by grade,
and Consumer Price Index, selected periods, 1939—
61

General schedule grade
Consumer Price Index

Is
2:
3:
4:
5:
6:
7:
8:
9:
10:
11:
12:
13:
14:
15:
16:
17:
18:

Minimum salary rate 3— — ---------------------Average salary - - — ------------------- — ----- —
Minimum salary rate — ------------ --------- ----Average salary----- — — ------ ------------- ------Minimum salary rate ------------ ------ — ------Average salary
-------------------------- -------Minimum salary rate - - - — - - - - - - — — Average salary---------------- ------------- --— ----Minimum salary rate — — -------------- — - —
Average salary — -----— ----- — ------- ----- — Minimum salary rate-------------------------------Average salary--------------------- -— — --------Minimum salary rate — --------— -------------Average salary — -------------- ----------------------Minimum salary rate---------------------- --------Average salary------- ------- ----- ------- ------- ----Minimum salary rate----------— ------------- —
Average salary-------------------- ----------- --------Minimum salary rate---------------- ----- ----- —
Average salary — ------------ ------------- ----------Minimum salary rate — — -------- -------- ----Average salary--------------------- ------------------Minimum salary rate — — ------ -— — ----- -Average salary----- ------------- -— ----- ------- —
Minimum salary rate -------------- ----- — ------Average salary ---------- ----- ------------- --— ----Minimum salary rate -------------- ----------------Average salary — — - — ------------ ----- — - —
Minimum salary rate-*— ------------------------ Average salary------- ---------- -------- --— ------Minimum salary rate — — - — ----- --------- —
Average salary -------- --------- -— ----- — -----Minimum salary rate - - — ----- — --------------Average salary — — ----- ------- ----------- ----- —
Minimum salary rate — — -------- ----- — ----Average salary ------------------ ----------------------

Consumer Price Index (1 9 4 7 -4 9 = 1 0 0 )----- --------

Percent increase to July 1, 1961,
August 1939

1 6 9 .9
1 8 8 .6
143.1
152.1
132.1
143. 7
1 2 4 .4
1 3 8.6
11 7.3
1 3 4 .9
1 1 0 .0
126.1
1 0 6 .0
1 1 7 .8
1 0 2 .9
1 1 3 .4
101.1
110.1
9 9 .9
1 0 6 .9
9 8 .9
103.1
94. 7
98 .1
8 9 .9
9 3 .2
8 7 .8
8 6 .0
71.6
70 .4
<5)
( 5)
( 5)
( 5>
( 5)
( 5)
117.1

July 1, 1950

4 4 .8
4 9 .8
4 2 .9
4 2 .3
4 1 .9
43 .1
4 0 .5
4 3 .6
4 0 .2
4 4 .8
4 0 .0
44. 4
4 0 .0
4 1 .8
40 .1
4 1 .5
3 9 .9
4 0 .8
3 9 .9
4 1 .8
4 0 .0
4 0 .7
3 9 .9
4 0 .6
3 9 .9
41 .1
3 8 .8
3:9.3
3 7 .3
3 6 .3
3 6 .2
3 9 .4
3 5 .5
37.1
32.1
32.1
2 4 .5

..

July 1, 1955

from^—

July 1, 1958

July 10, 1960

1 8 .4
2 1 .2
1 8 .2
1 7 .8
1 8 .4
1 9 .0
18 .3
1 9 .2
1 8 .4
1 9 .4
1 8 .4
1 9 .5
1 8 .3
1 8 .8
1 8 .4
1 7 .2
1 8 .3
1 9 .0
1 8 .3
1 8 .0
1 8 .3
1 9 .2
18 .3
1 9 .2
1 8 .3
1 9 .3
1 8 .3
1 9 .3
1 8 .3
1 9 .8
1 8 .3
1 9 .3
18 .3
1 9 .3
2 5 .0
2 5 .0

7 .6
8 .3
7 .5
7 .3
7 .6
7 .8
7 .6
8 .0
7 .5
7; 9
7 .6
8 .5
7 .5
7 .7
7 .6
8 .4
7 .5
7.3
7 .5
7 .6
7 .5
5 .9
7 .5
5 .6
7 .5
5. 7
7 .5
5 .8
7 .5
6. 7
7 .5
6 .8
7 .5
6 .9
5. 7
5. 7

(4 )
0
.1
0
-.5
0
-.5
0
-.6
0
-.6
0
-.3
0
.1
0
-.1
0
0

11. 7

3 .4

1 .2

0
-.5
0
-.2
0
-.2
0
( 4)
0
.2
0
1 .0
0
1
0
.5
0

1
Minimum salaries are the salaries paid at the first step in each grade.
Average salaries were obtained by
weighting each salary step within the grade by the number of employees at that step.
Therefore, they reflect the
effect of increases in basic salary scales and of merit increases in pay within the grade.
2 1961 data for the continental United States only were used for comparisons except between 1960 and 1961.
3 The minimum was computed by weighting equally the base pay for each of the 3 grades (subprofessional
grades 1 and 2 and clerical, administrative, and fiscal grade l)th a t were combined into this general schedule grade.
4 Less than 0. 05 percent.
5 Grades 16, 17, and 18 were created by the Classification Act of 1949.




36
Table 5. Percent increases in Federal classified employees' salaries, in
average earnings of factory production workers and office employees,
and in the Consumer Price Index, 1939-61 and 1951-61

Item

Federal classified employees:
Basic pay scales (affected by legislation o n ly)--------------------------Average salary rates (affected by legislation and
in-grade increases)-------------------------------------------------------------------Average salaries (affected by legislation, in-grade increases
and changes in occupational or grade composition)------------Factory production workers:
Average weekly earnings-----------------------------------------------------------Average hourly earnings (excluding overtime)------------------------Railway office employees (straight-time monthly earnings): 2
A ll railway office em ployees---------------------------------------------------Division officers, assistants, and staff assistants----------------------Chief clerks and other supervisors 8 -----------------------------------------Other clerical employees 4---------------------------------------------------------City public school teachers 5 ---------------------------------------------------------Firefighters and police patrolmen ^ -----------------------------------------------Consumer Price Index----------------------------------------------------------------------Percent change in weekly earnings of women office clerical
workers, selected cities, 1952—
61: 7
Atlanta------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Boston--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------C h ica g o ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Cleveland--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Denver -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Los Angeles—
Long Beach-------------------------------------------------------------Memphis----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Milwaukee------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Minneapolis—
St, Paul------------------------------------------------------------------New York C ity ----------------------------------------------------------------------------Philadelphia-------------------------------------------------------------------------------San Franc isco-O akland---------------------------------------------------------------

August 1939 1
to
July 1961

July 1951
to
July 1961

11 2.4

2 7 .6

124.4

3 1 .0

189.1

5 4 .1

2 9 5.5
2 6 5 .4

47 .1
48 .1

18 4.4
150.1
152.1
187.2
17 3.5
151.1
117.1

4 4 .4
5 0 .7
4 3 .6
3 8 .7
5 9 .0
5 6 .9
15 .5

(8)
(8)
(8)
(8)
(8)
(8)
(8)
(8)
(8)
(8)
(8)
(8)

4 4 .1
4 5 .8
4 4 .8
5 1 .3
5 1 .9
5 1 .2
3 8 .8
4 6 .3
4 7 .0
4 5 .5
4 9 .6
4 5 .6

1 Data for factory production workers and for railway office employees were computed from July 1939.
2 Computed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from Interstate Commerce Commission M-t300 reports. The average
was computed by dividing total compensation for straight-time actually worked by the number of employees who re­
ceived pay during the month.
8 Includes professional and subprofessional assistants, supervisory or chief clerks (major departments), chief clerks
(minor departments), assistant chief clerks, and supervising cashiers.
4 Includes clerks and clerical specialists, clerks, mechanical device operators (office), stenographers and secre­
taries, stenographers and typists, traveling auditors or accountants, and messengers and office boys.
5 Public school teachers in cities of 5 0 ,000 inhabitants or more.
Data refer to school year ending in June.
6 Maximum salary scales in cities of 100,000 or more.
7 1952 data taken from surveys made during the second 6 months of 1951 and first 6 months of 1952.
8 Data not available.




F e d e ra l C la s s ifie d E m p lo y e e s ’ S a la ry C h a n g e s, 1 9 6 2 — 6 4

T h e p r i n c i p l e of, comparability of pay with
private industry for employees covered by the
Federal Classification Act was established by the
Federal Salary Reform Act of 1962, and the prin­
ciple of periodic review of salaries to maintain this
relationship was implemented in the Government
Employees Salary Reform Act of 1964.1 In addi­
tion, the 1964 legislation substantially raised the
limits on salary rates in the top grades of the
Classification Act by increasing salaries of Con­
gressmen and appointed administrative and
judicial officials.
The two acts together increased basic salary scales
of the 1.1 million employees under the Classifica­
tion Act an average of about 14.5 percent, with
smaller increases in the lowest pay grades and
advances up to about one-third in grade 18
(table 1). Salaries for the highest grades had
lagged substantially behind those for comparable
work in private industry.

Establishment of Comparability

The most basic revision since 1923 in the salary
structure under the Classification Act was passed
by Congress on October 5, 1962, and signed by
President John F. Kennedy on October 11. The
law included, in addition to salary increases,
changes in salary structures, and administrative
flexibilities under the four major pay systems. 2
The act provided that determination of Federal
salary schedules should be based on the principles
1

F o r a discussion o f the m ajor features o f the 1962 a n d 1964 legislation, see
1964, p p . 1155-1164.

Monthly Labor Review, O c tob er

Statutory pay systems are the Classification Act,
Postal Field Service, Foreign Service, and Department
of Medicine and Surgery in the Veterans Administration.
a T h is figure does n o t in clu d e the effect o f changes in th e d istrib u tio n o f
w orkers am on g steps w ith in each grade that resulted fro m p rovisions th at
lengthened the tim e requ ired to reach the m id d le and to p steps o f the lo w e r
grades and red u ced the tim e requ ired to advan ce a m on g the low er steps in
the higher salary grades. T h e effect o f changes in the d istrib u tio n o f w orkers
a m on g steps w ith in each grade from 1962 to 1963 resultin g fro m these p r o v i­
sions cann ot be distin gu ish ed fro m the n o rm a l op eration o f provision s for
m erit increases.
4 E stim ated on the basis o f 1963 em p loy m en t. A t the tim e the b ill w as
drafted, it w as estim ated that the increases w o u ld average 5.5 percen t in
1962 an d 4.1 percent in January 1964.
« T h is p rovision superseded a sim ilar b u t m ore lim ited a u th ority in 1954
am en dm en ts to the Classification A c t. See Wage Chronology: Federal

Classification Act Employees, 19H-60 (B L S




R e p o rt N o . 199), p. 19.

37

of equal pay for substantially equal work and of
comparability of Federal salary rates with those
in private industry for the same levels of work.
The system of classification of jobs previously in
effect had followed the principle of equal pay for
equal work within a pay system but there had
been no method of equating pay for equal work
among the various systems. The new legislation
set up specific procedures for relating Federal
salaries to pay in industry and provided for inter­
relating salary levels among the various pay
systems.
Two new salary schedules were provided. The
first, effective October 14 or 21, 1962, depending
on the pay period dates in each agency, raised an­
nual salaries of Classification Act employees an
average of 5.6 percent.8 The second, effective the
first pay period after January 1, 1964, raised sala­
ries for grades 1 through 15 an average of 4.1 per­
cent.4 Salaries for grades 16, 17, and 18—
limited
by those established for members of Congress-were
not increased in January 1964. A additional step
n
increase was given each employee on the payroll
in the three lowest grades, thus providing these
workers with greater increases than the Admin­
istration had proposed without permanently
changing the salary schedule. This change raised
average salary rates of all Classified Act em­
ployees three-tenths of 1 percent. In contrast
with previous postwar increases, however, the
legislation provided for proportionately higher
total increases for the higher grades, ranging from
about 5 percent for employees in grade 3 (including
the previously mentioned step increase) to about
17 percent for those in grade 15.
Another step towards establishing levels of pay
that would be competitive with private industry
authorized the President to raise rates of compen­
sation for any occupation or in any area where
higher rates in private enterprise significantly
handicap the Government’s recruitment or reten­
tion of well-qualified workers.5 However, the
minimum salary rate established under this pro­
vision may not exceed the seventh salary rate
prescribed by the legislation for the grade. Previ­
ously, the maximum pay for the occupation could

38
not exceed the maximum regular step (step 7
in most grades) for the grade. The Civil Service
Commission acted quickly under this authority to
set up a special pay scale for about 38,000 engineers
and scientists in grades 5 through 11 and for cer­
tain grades in other occupations, principally for
pharmacologists and medical officers.
The governmentwide quota of positions that
could be allocated to the top three grades (16
through 18) was increased from a total of about
2,000 to 2,400 “in addition to any professional
engineering positions primarily concerned with
research and development and professional posi­
tions in the physical and natural sciences and
medicine which may be placed in such grades.”
The 1962 legislation also revised the amount
and timing of salary increases within a grade.
Greater uniformity among grades was introduced
in the percent increases by providing greater
dollar increments in successively higher grades.
Longevity increases were abolished, but the
number of within-grade rates in each grade was
revised to equal the former total of regular plus
longevity rates. Within-grade pay increases were
not to be automatic; advancement was to depend
upon whether an employee's work was “of an
acceptable level of competence as determined bv
the head of the department.”
Uniform waiting periods were established in
all grades. The former schedule had provided
annual step increases for workers in grades 1
through 10, 18-month increases in grades 11
through 17, and longevity increases at 3-year
intervals in grades 1 through 15. (No longevity
increases were provided in grades 16 through
is.)
The law also authorized additional within-grade
increases (if department funds were available)
in recognition of high quality work, with a limit
of one such merit increase a year.
Other changes included authorization to pay
a supervisor of wage board employees at a salary
rate in his Classification Act grade that exceeded
the rate paid those he supervised, up to the
maximum of his grade. Salary retention benefits,
under which employees whose jobs were down­
graded through no fault of their own retained
their old salaries for 2 years, and previously
available only to employees in grades under 16,
were made available to the three top grades as
well. An employee brought with his position



under the Classification Act from another Federal
system was to retain his salary even though his
position was put into a lower salaried grade.
The increase in salary for an employee promoted
to a higher Classification Act grade was to equal
at least two (formerly one) within-grade steps
in the grade from which he was promoted.
The Administration's proposal for an annual
report to Congress by the President on the
relationship of Federal salaries to those in private
industry was enacted. The President was re­
quired to direct an appropriate agency or agencies
to submit to him annual comparisons of Federal
employees' salary schedules with private enter­
prise rates for the same level of work,6as deter­
mined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics annual
surveys of professional, administrative, and cler­
ical pay, and, after getting comments from such
Government employee organizations as he con­
sidered appropriate, to prepare for Congress an
annual report incorporating the comparisons and
any recommendations he might have for revision
of salary schedules or compensation policy.
1964 Salary Legislation
An omnibus bill was passed by the House of
Representatives on June 11,1964, providing salary
increases for the Vice President, members of Con­
gress, Federal judges, Cabinet members, and other
appointed officials, as well as for Classification
Act, Postal, and other groups of employees in the
executive, legislative, and judicial branches of
Government. Like an earlier House bill (defeated
by a rollcall vote in March), this bill was an at­
tempt to implement the comparability principle
of the 1962 legislation. By increasing salaries of
members of Congress (by $7,500 to $30,000) and
of appointed administrative and judicial officials,
the bill raised the limits on pay for employees in
the top grades of the Classification Act. On
July 2, the Senate approved a bill that differed in
provisions for Classification Act employees in
several respects. The Senate bill provided slightly
larger increases for grades GS-9 through 12, “In
order to bring this middle-management group
closer to comparability . . . .” It provided an
effective date of July 1 for all salarv increases, in
6 E xe cu tiv e Order 11073 delegated this responsibility to the D irector of the
B ureau o f the B u d get and the C hairm an o f the C iv il Service C om m ission.

39

place of House provisions making most increases
effective after passage but deferring the effective
date of raising salaries above $22,000 to January
1965, when Congressmen’s salaries were to ad­
vance above $22,500.
The Senate limited to 249 the number of hearing
examiner positions to be exempt from the 2,400
positions authorized for grades GS-16, 17, and 18.
Both bills allowed appointments above the mini­
mum salary rate at grade GS-13 or higher for
applicants with exceptional qualifications, but
the Senate required Civil Service approval in each
instance, whereas the House would have allowed
such appointments under general Civil Service
authorization.
The compromise bill signed by the President on
August 14 incorporated all the Senate changes for
Classification Act workers and provided salary
increases for these workers ranging from about 2.8
percent to 22.5 percent and averaging $287 or 4.2
percent.7

From July 1961 to July 1963, average salaries
increased about 3.7 percent as a result of changes
in the proportion of employees in the various pay
grades. Information is not yet available on the
effect of further changes in the proportion of
workers in various pay steps and grades from
mid-1963 to mid-1964.

T

1.
I n d e x e s o f B a s ic S a l a r y S c a l e s , A
Sa l a r y R a t e s , a n d A v e r a g e Sa l a r ie s 1 o f F
C l a s s if ie d
E m ployees C overed
b y
th e
G
S c h e d u l e ,2 1 9 3 9 a n d 1 9 4 5 - 6 4 3

a b le

v e rag e
e d er al
e n e r a l

[1957-59=100]

Salary Changes

D a te

Average salary rates increased 6.1 percent from
July 1962 to July 1963; this included the effects of
the extra step increase to all incumbents in grades
1, 2, and 3, which raised average salary rates
approximately three-tenths of a percent, as well
as some changes in the distribution of workers
among steps within various grades resulting from
revisions in the time required to progress from one
step to another and changes in average length of
service within each grade. Information on
changes in average salary rates since July 1963
is not yet available.8

7 E stim a ted b y assum ing the sam e d istrib u tio n o f em p loyees b y grade and
step in 1964 as in 1963. T h e effect o f increases in p a y for w orkers in grades 11
throu gh 16 resultin g

from a d d itio n o f p a y steps t o these grades has been

om itted from the estim ates; in form ation o n the n u m b e r oPworkers affected
b y these increases is n o t available.
existin g to p steps o f

Since the p ro p o rtio n o f w orkers in the

these grades is rela tiv e ly sm all,

the effect

o n the

overall indexes w ou ld b e , m in or.
8 Indexes o f average salary rates for 1964 were estim ated o n the assu m p tion
that th e y changed b y the sam e percentage as basic salary scales.




A u gu st 1939..................................................
June 30, 1945........ .........................................
J u ly 1,1946.....................................................
J u ly 1,1947......................................................
J u ly 15, 1948.................................................
J u ly 1, 1949............... ............... ................... J u ly 1, 1950........... ......................... —...........
J u ly 8,1951.....................................................
J u ly 1,1952.....................................................
J u ly 1, 1953..................... ..............................
J u ly 1, 1954.....................................................
J u ly 1, 1955 a..................................................
J u ly 1, 1956....................................................
J u ly 1, 1957................... — _________ _____
J u ly 1, 1958......................................... .........
J u ly 1, 1959.....................................................
J u ly 10, 1960 3.............................. .................
J u ly 1,1961.....................................................
J u ly 1, 1962.....................................................
J u ly 1, 1963,..................................................
Jan. 5,1964................. ..................... .............
J u ly 5, 1964......... ...........................................

B asic
salary
scales i
52.3
52.4
69.0
69.0
76.2
76.2
79.3
87.1
87.1
87.1
87.1
93.7
93.7
93.7
103.2
103.2
111.1
111.1
111.1
117.3
8 122.1
8 127.2

A verage
salary
rates 1
49.5
4 49.5
64.8
66.0
73.9
74.2
78.1
84.8
84.9
85.7
86.4
93.2
93.1
93.2
103.5
103.2
111.1
111.1
111.0
117.8
8 122.6
8 127.7

A verage
salaries 4

40.4
(«)
55.0
58.2
64.8
65.7
70.6
75.8
77.4
79.4
81.0
88.2
89.2
91.1
103.5
105.4
115.4
116.8
118.1
128.1
133.4
8 142.7

* B asic salary scales reflect o n ly statu tory changes in salaries. A verage
salary rates sh ow s ta tu tory changes a n d the effect o f m erit or in-grade salary
increases. A verage salaries m easure th e effect n o t o n ly o f statutory changes
in basic p a y scales a n d in-grade salary increases, b u t also changes in th e p ro­
p ortion o f w orkers in the various grades.
2
D a ta for th e G eneral Schedule a n d C rafts, P rotective, a n d C ustodial
S chedule em ployees h a ve been in corporated in to a single index. Since J u ly
1, 1955, th e G eneral Schedule has cov ered a ll C lassification A c t em ployees.
A t th at tim e, a bo u t one-third o f the a p p roxim ately 100,000 em ployees form erly
covered b y the C rafts, P rotective, a n d C u stod ia l Schedule w ere transferred
t o the G eneral S chedule; the rem aining tw o-thirds w ere transferred to wageb oard classifications, along w ith a p p roxim ately 2,500 w orkers form erly un der
the General Schedule. T h ere were o n ly m in or differences am on g the indexes
in the years p rior to 1955.
8 B eginn in g w ith 1960, data include em ployees in A laska and H aw aii.
Inclu sion of these em ployees d id not affect basic salary scales; average salary
rates an d average salaries w ere affected b y negligible am ou nts.
4 E stim ated b y assum ing the sam e d istribu tion o f em ployees a m on g grades
and steps w ith in grades in 1945 as in 1939. Since there w as little or no increase
in average salary rates because o f in-grade increases during this period, it
was assum ed that the change in basic salary scales w as virtu a lly the sam e as
in average salary rates.
8 N o t available.
8 E stim ated b y assum ing th e sam e d istribu tion o f em ployees am on g grades
and steps w ith in grades in 1964 as in 1963.

40

T

ab le

2.

P

ercen t

G

I

n creases

rou ps

Sa

in

an d

Item

in

l a r ie s

th e

C

A u gu st
1939 to
J u ly 1964

F ederal classified em p loy ees: 7
B asic salary scales 2-------------------------------A verage salary rates 2 2_________________
A verage salaries 23----------------------------------

143.2
158.0
253.2

F a cto ry p rod u c tion w o r k e r s :4
A verage w eek ly earnings_______________
A vera g e h o u rly earnings (exclu din g
o v e r tim e )_________________________ ______ __
R a ilw a y office em p loyees (straight-tim e
m o n th ly e a r n in g s ):3
A ll railw ay office em p loy ees____________
D iv is ion officers, assistants, an d staff
assistants______________________________
C hief clerks an d other supervisors •____
O ther clerical em ployees 7
..........................

of

F

e d er al

on su m er

J u ly 1954
t o J u ly
1964

P

C

r ic e

J u ly 1962
to J u ly
1964

46.0
47.8
76.2

14.5
15.0
20.8

338.3

48.4

7.4

296.7

41.0

6.1

205.4

44.7

2.3

157.3
163.1
209.4

46.0
41.3
40.2

1.0
1.2
2 .0

E m ployees and O th
1 9 3 9 -6 4 , 1 9 5 4 -6 4 , a n d

l a s s if ie d

I

n d e x

,

Selected O
1 9 6 2 -6 4

er

Item

O ffice clerical w orkers, selected cities
(straight-tim e w ee k ly ea rn in g s): 8
A t l a n t a _________________________ _______
B o s t o n _________________________ _______ _
C h i c a g o ------------------------- --------------------C le v e lan d _______________________ _______
D e n v e r_____________
__________________
L os A n g e le s -L o n g B e a c h _______________
M e m p h is ._______________________________
M ilw a u k e e _____ _________________________
M in n e a p o lis-S t. P a u l____ ______________
N e w Y o r k C it y _________________________
P h iladelph ia____________________________
San F ra n cis co -O a k la n d _______________
C ity p u b lic s ch ool teachers 77_______________
Firefighters an d p o lice patrolm en 72_______
C onsum er P rice In d e x 73........................... .........

A u gu st
1939 to
J u ly 1964

(9)
(9)
(9)
(9
)
(9
)
(9)
(9)
(9
)
(9)
(9
)
(9)
(9)
195.1
184.4
124.9

c c u p a t io n a l

J u ly 1954 J u ly 1962
to J u ly
to J u ly
1964
1964

47.3
47.0
39.8
73 39.0
48.8
48.0
42.9
43.0
41.2
46.2
46.1
45.2

7.1
5.4
4.8
5.2
7.7
6.0
5.3
6.2
5.4
6.6
5.8
6.4

49.4
50.6
15.2

7.1
8.5
2.6

1 C hanges in th e earnings o f F ederal em ployees are based o n the salary
schedule effective J u ly 5, 1964.
2 See footn ote 1, tab le 1.
3 E stim a ted b y assum ing th e sam e d istrib u tion o f em ployees am on g grades
an d steps w ith in grades in 1964 as in 1963.
4 C hanges in th e earnings of fa cto ry p ro d u ctio n w orkers w ere co m p u te d to
June 1964.
* C hanges in th e earnings o f ra ilw a y office em ployees were c o m p u te d to
D ecem b er 1963 b y th e B u reau o f L a b o r Statistics from Interstate C om m erce
C om m ission M-300 reports. A verages w ere co m p u te d b y d ivid in g total
com p en sation for straigh t-tim e a ctu a lly w o rk e d b y th e n u m b e r o f em p loyees
w h o received p a y durin g th e m on th .
« In clu des professional and subprofessional assistants, su p ervisory or
ch ief clerks (m ajor dep a rtm en ts), ch ief clerks (m in or departm en ts), assistant
ch ief clerks, an d supervising cashiers.

7 Inclu des clerks an d clerical specialists, clerks, m echanical-device operators
(office), stenographers an d secretaries, stenographers and typ ists, traveling
auditors or a ccou ntan ts, and m essengers and o fficeb oys.
8 D a ta for 1954 refer to w om en and w ere tak en from su rv eys m ad e durin g
th e secon d h a lf o f 1953 a n d th e first h alf o f 1954; data for 1964 refer to b o th
m en and w om en an d w ere tak en fro m surveys m ad e during th e secon d half
o f 1963 and the first half o f 1964.
8 Not available.
Increase from 1955 to 1964.
1 D a ta refer to p u b lic sch ool teachers in cities o f 100,000 in h abitan ts or m ore
1
in 1963 an d 50,000 in habitants or m ore in earlier years, an d to s ch ool years
ending in June o f 1939,1953, and 1963.
12 M a x im u m salary scales in cities o f 100,000 in h abitan ts or m ore.
7 Changes in the con sum er price in d ex were c o m p u te d to June 1964.
3

From 1939 to July 1964, legislation raised basic
salary scales of Classification Act employees by
about 143 percent. Average salary rates increased
158 percent, while estimated average salaries rose
253 percent.
Both the 1962 and 1964 acts were designed to
provide comparability of pay for Government
employees with private industry and, hence, pro­
vided for substantial “catchups” in pay for workers
in the higher Classification Act grades. Conse­
quently, from 1962 to 1964, all three measures of
increases in Federal pay rose faster than the Con­
sumer Price Index (CPI) or the earnings of other
groups of workers shown in table 2. From 1954
to 1964, basic salary scales and average salary
rates rose by about the same relative amounts as
earnings of other groups and more than the CPI,

while average salaries rose more than earnings of
other workers.
Despite the larger increases in recent years,
both basic salary scales and average salary rates
have risen less since 1939 than pay of other
workers. Average salaries have risen more than
the straight-time monthly earnings of all railway
office employees,9but less than the average hourly
or weekly earnings of factory production workers,
both of which are also affected by changes in
composition of the labor force.

• T h e inform ation on railw ay em ployees is in clu d ed since it is the o n ly
series show ing trends in earnings o f a substantial group o f office w orkers
prior to 1952.
1 T h is was the increase in salaries o f em ployees on the rolls at the tim e the
0
legislation becam e effective; it in clu ded the effects o f b o th the change in p a y
scales and an additional increase equ ivalen t to one step w ith in the p a y grade
to those on the rolls at that tim e in grades 1, 2, and 3. T h e change in average
salaries in each grade also in clu d ed the effect o f changes in the distribution
o f w orkers am on g p a y steps resulting from actual changes in average length
o f service in the grade and changes m ade b y the 1962 legislation in the length
o f tim e required to progress am on g grade steps. Increases in average rates
that w o u ld becom e effective for em ployees n o t on the rolls at the tim e the
1962 legislation w en t in to effect were 3 to 3.5 percent in the three low est grades.




Increase Variation Among Grades

In contrast to previous postwar increases, the
1962 and 1964 legislation provided for proportion­
ately larger salary increases for the higher grades.
Increases ranged from about 5.2 percent in the
average scales in grade 3 to about 17 percent in
grade 151 in the 1962 legislation and from 2.8
0
percent in grade 2 to 22.5 percent in grade 18 in
1964 (tables 3 and 6). Combining the effect of
the two acts, increases in average salaries ranged
from about 7.6 percent in grade 2 to 33.8 percent
in grade 17.
Early in 1962, the Civil Service Commission
and the Bureau of the Budget found that rates

41

in the lowest levels of the Classified Service were
equal to or higher than those for comparable work
in private industry, as reflected in a Bureau of
Labor Statistics survey for 1961.1 In higher
1
grades, the differential in favor of private industry
ranged from 14 percent in grade 7 to 32 percent
in grade 15.
The larger increases provided the higher grades
also were designed to give greater recognition to
differences in responsibility and greater incentive
to prepare for higher responsibilities; previous
postwar increases had either been uniform in
percentage terms to all grades or, frequently,
greater proportionately in the lower grades, thus
narrowing the spread between grades. The ratio
of the minimum salary in the highest and lowest
grade had narrowed from 8.8 to 1 in 193911to
2
3
5.8 to 1 prior to passage of the 1962 legislation.
T

ab le

3.

M

in im u m

an d

A

ve rag e

Sa

l a r ie s

I
G eneral schedule grade a n d C on su m er
P rice In d ex

A u gu st
1939

1

1 See Summary Analysis of President’s Proposal for Reform of Federal Statu­
1
tory Salary Systems (U .S . H ouse o f R epresentatives, C om m ittee on P ost
Office and C iv il Service, 87th C ong., 2d sess., 1962, C om m ittee P rin t),
p p . 9-10.
1 In 1939, the equ ivalen t o f GS-15 was the top grade. Grades 16, 17, and
3
18 were created b y the C lassification A c t o f 1949. T h e salary for G rade 18
has been used in com parisons for years other than 1939.
T h e 1939 ratio is based on the m in im u m salary in the subprofessional
schedule w h ich was co m b in e d w ith the professional and the clerical, a d m in ­
istrative, an d fiscal schedules in to one general schedule in 1949. T h e ratio
based on w h at was then the equivalent o f the present m in im u m rate (G S -1 )
in the general schedule was 7.1 to 1.
M a xim u m p a y in grade 15 was five tim es the m in im u m for grade 1 in b o th
1958 and 1960. T h e ratio rose to 5.5 to 1 in O ctober 1962, 5.8 to 1 in January
1964, and 6.4 to 1 under the schedule that becam e effective in J u ly 1964.

Federal C
, Selected D

of

n d e x

The October 1962 schedule raised the ratio to 6.2
to 1, but it dropped slightly to 6.1 to 1 when the
January 1964 schedule did not change salaries of
grades 16, 17, or 18. When the 1964 legislation
became effective, the ratio rose to 7.2 to 1.
Although the 1962 and 1964 legislation increased
basic salary rates of Classified workers in all grades

J u ly 1,
1950

J u ly 1,
1958

E m plo
, 1 9 3 9 -6 4

l a s s if ie d
ate s

J u ly 10,
1960

yees

J u ly 1,
1961

,

b y

G

J u ly 1,
1962

ra d e

,

an d

J u ly 1,
1963

C

on su m er

Jan. 5,
19641

P

r ic e

Ju ly 5,
19641

General schedule grade:
1: M in im u m salary ra te .............................
A verage salary....... ................................. 2: M in im u m salary rate.............................
A verage salary..................... ....................
3: M in im u m salary r a t e ............................
A verage salary............... ...........................
4: M in im u m salary rate.............................
A verage salary......... .................................
5: M in im u m salary r a t e .—.................—
A verage salary...........................................
6: M in im u m salary rate..............................
A verage salary....... ...................................
7: M in im u m salary rate.............................
A verage salary....... ...................................
8: M in im u m salary rate.............................
A verage salary....... ................... — ..........
9: M in im u m salary ra te .............................
A verage salary......... .................................
10: M in im u m salary ra te.............................
A verage salary........................... ...............
11: M in im u m salary ra te .............................
A verage salary......... ................. ................
12: M in im u m salary r a t e ...........................
A verage s alary................... .......................
13: M in im u m salary ra te ........... .................
A verage s alary........... ........... - .................
14: M in im u m salary ra te .............................
A verage s alary........... ...............................
15: M in im u m salary r a te ..... .......................
A verage salary...........................................
16: M in im u m salary ra te ....... .....................
A verage s a la r y ............................. - .........
17: M in im u m salary ra te ....... .....................
A verage s alary...........................................
18: M in im u m salary r a t e ............................
A verage salary------------------------------------

*$1,180
1,223
1,440
1,489
1,620
1,683
1,800
1,867
2,000
2,099
2,300
2,414
2,600
2,704
2,900
3,020
3,200
3,298
3,600
3,620
3,800
3,974
4,600
4,797
5,600
5,793
6,500
6,850
8,000
8,460
(»)
(*)
(»)
(*)
(»)
(')

$2,200
2,356
2,450
2,639
2,650
2,866
2,875
3,103
3,100
3,405
3,450
3,780
3,825
4,154
4,200
4,553
4,600
4,923
5,000
5,279
5,400
5,734
6,400
6,759
7,800
7,931
8*800
9,150
10,000
10,577
11,200
11,232
12,200
12,288
14,000
14,000

$2,960
3,260
3,255
3,498
3,495
3,804
3,755
4,126
4,040
4,570
4,490
5,031
4,980
5,471
5,470
6,945
5,985
6,460
6,605
6,959
7,030
7,620
8,330
8,999
9,890
10,593
11,355
12,042
12,770
13,513
14,190
14,657
15,375
15,768
17,500
17,500

$3,185
3,540
3,500
3,762
3,760
4,111
4,040
4,455
4,345
4,921
4,830
5,401
5,355
5,893
5,885
6,411
6,435
6,931
6,995
7,476
7,560
8,107
8,955
9,555
10,635
11,262
12,210
12,818
13,730
14,443
15,256
15,648
16,530
16,863
18,500
18,500

$3,185
3,524
3,500
3,754
3,760
4,102
4,040
4,456
4,345
4,931
4,830
5,456
5,355
5,890
5,885
6,444
6,435
6,929
6,995
7,487
7,560
8,071
8,955
9,505
10,635
11,194
12,210
12,742
13,730
14,407
15,255
15,656
16,530
16,852
18,500
18,500

$3,185
3,474
3,500
3,712
3,760
4,079
4,040
4,444
4,345
4,932
4,830
5,490
5,355
5,884
5,885
6,430
6,435
6,945
6,995
7,492
7,560
8,133
8,955
9,451
10,635
11,132
12,210
12,679
13,730
14,356
15,255
15,662
16,530
16,846
18,500
18,500

$3,245
3,643
3,560
3,846
3,820
4,241
4,110
4,675
4,565
5,158
5,035
5,732
5,540
6,153
6,090
6,797
6,675
7,370
7,290
8,089
8,045
8,712
9,475
10,155
11,150
11,935
12,845
13,740
14,565
15,679
16,000
17,103
18,000
18,732
20,000
20,000

$3,305
3,652
3,620
3,884
3,880
4,291
4,215
4,779
4,690
5,269
5,235
5,950
5,795
6,357
6,390
7,112
7,030
7,702
7,690
8,518
8,410
9,017
9,980
10,680
11,725
12,541
13,615
14,545
15,665
16,835
16,000
17,093
18,000
18,729
20,000
20,000

$3,385
» 3,765
3,680
*3,994
4,005
* 4,513
4,480
5,084
5,000
5,598
5,605
6,261
6,050
6,626
6,630
7,386
7,220
7,935
7,900
8,776
8,650
4 9,289
10,250
11,003
12,075
4 12,965
14,170
4 15,182
16,460
4 17,755
18,935
*20,367
21,445
22,539
24,500
24,500

C onsum er P rice In d ex (1957-59=100)..............

48.1

83.9

101.0

103.2

104.4

105.5

107.1

107.6

•108.2

i M in im u m salaries are th e salaries p a id at the first step in each grade.
A verage salaries w ere ob ta in ed b y w eightin g each salary step w ith in the
grade b y th e n u m b er o f em ployees at that step. Therefore, th e y reflect
the effect o f increases in basic salary scales an d o f m erit increases in p a y w ith in
the grade. A vera g e salaries for 1964 were estim ated on the basis o f 1963 em ­
ploym en t data, and hen ce d o n o t reflect a n y changes that occu rred from 1963
to 1964 in th e d istrib u tion o f em p loyees am on g and w ithin grades.
* T h e m in im u m was co m p u te d b y w eightin g e q u a lly the base p a y for each
o f the three grades (subprofessional grades 1 and 2 an d clerical, adm inistra­
tiv e, and fiscal grade 1) that were co m b in e d in to this G eneral S chedule grade.
* A verage salaries for J u ly 1964 d o n ot reflect the fact that em ployees paid
a bov e the m axim u m rate (a b ov e step 10) o f grades 1 ,2 , an d 3 as a result of th e
extra step increases received in O ctob er 1962 received sm aller increases in




Ju ly 1964 than other em p loyees in these grades since th e y reverted to the
rates for step 10 o f these grades u n der the Ju ly 1964 schedule. Increases o f
affected em ployees w ere thus $105 ($125 in grade 3) low er than th e y w o u ld
have been if a salary rate for the e q u iva len t o f step 11 had been m ain tained.
T h is change affected a b o u t 6 percent o f the em p loyees in grades 2 and 3 and
a bou t 12 percent o f those in grade 1, b u t o n ly a bo u t 1 percen t o f all General
S chedule em ployees.
4 E stim ates o f J uly 1964 average salaries do n o t reflect the effects o f th e p a y
steps that were ad d ed to the salary schedule for grades 11 throu gh 16 b y the
1964 legislation. A verage salaries for these grades m a y be revised substan­
tia lly w hen later data are available.
* G rades 16,17. an d 18 were created b y the Classification A c t o f 1949.
•In d ex for June 1964.

42

relatively more than the CPI rose, increases in Increase in Average Salary Rates 1of Federal Classified
Employees, by Grade,2August 1939 to July 1964
entrance salaries in grades above GS-11 since 1939
and in average salaries above GS-12 still lagged
behind the overall increase in the CPI. Since
1939, increases in entrance rates amounted to 187
percent in grade 1 and 106 percent in grade 15.
Average salaries in grade 1 rose 208 percent from
1939 to July 1964, compared with 110 percent in
grade 15. (See chart.)
Other features of the legislation were intended
to provide uniform ranges in percentage terms be­
tween minimum and maximum salaries among
grades. The size of the step increases within the
higher grades was widened, and in 1964 pay steps
were added in grades 11 through 16, bringing the
number of steps to 10 in grades 1 through 15 and
to 9 in grade 16 (table 4). In July I960, the
pay range within a grade as a percent of the
minimum salary varied from 6.3 percent in GS-17
to 22.8 percent in GS-5. The spread changed to
11.1 percent in GS-17 and 30.7 percent in GS-5 by
January 1964. As a result of the most recent
legislation, the range varied from 14.0 percent in
grade 17 to 31.3 percent in grade 13. Except for
grade 17 (and grade 18 for which there is a single
rate), the 1964 legislation resulted in practically
uniform percentage ranges in all grades—from
29.7 percent in grade 5 to 31.3 percent in grade 13.
Employment Shifts

Since 1939, part of the increase in average
salaries has resulted from changes in the distribu­
tion of Federal employment among grades.
As indicated in table 5, page 44, there has been a
substantial decrease in the proportion employed in
the lower grades and a growth in the higher grades.
In 1939, 31 percent of all Classification Act
employees were in grades 1 and 2; 57 percent were
in the first four grades. By July 1963, only 3
percent were in grades 1 and 2 and 33 percent in
grades 1 through 4. Over the same period, the
proportion of employees in grade 12 or above rose
from about 4 to 17 percent. The median grade
rose from GS-4 in 1939, GS-5 in 1954, and GS-6
in 1961, to GS-7 in 1963.




1 A verage salaries w ere o b ta in e d b y w eightin g each salary step w ith in th e
grade b y the n u m ber o f em ployees at that step (1964 average salary rates w ere
estim ated on the basis o f 1963 em p loym en t data). Therefore, th e y reflect
the effect o f statu tory changes in basic p a y scales and ingrade salary increases.
2 Grades 16, 17, and 18, w h ich w ere created b y the Classification A c t o f
1949, are o m itted .

These pronounced changes in the employment
pattern reflect a number of factors, including the
effect of mechanization of many accounting and
office processes and the increases and changes in
demands for Government services which have
attended the growth in population and complexity
of the economy. The growth in demands for
Government services and the resulting new legis­
lation have not only increased the number of

48

T a b le 4.

General
schedule
grade

N um ber o f W ithin-Grade Increases and S alary P an ges as Percent o f
M inim um S a la rie s, S e le c te d Periods, 1949-64

Number
o f increases 1
Oct.
1949,
July
1951

1 ...........................
2 -----------------

3 -----------------4 -----------------5 ----------------6 ----------------7 ----------------8 ----------------9 ----------------1 0 ................. 11
------------1 2 ---------------1 3 ---------------1 4 ---------------1 5 ---------------1 6 ---------------1 7 — ............. 1 8 ----------------

9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
5
5
5
5
4
4
4

Range as percent of minimum salary 2
Oct. 1949

1955
to Jan.
1964
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
8
8
8
8

7
4
34

July
1964

9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9

Exclud­
ing
2 1 .8

19.6
18. 1
16. 7
24. 2
21. 7
19.6
17.9
16.3
15.0
18.5
15.6
13. 2
11.4
1 0 .0

8

7.1

4

July 1951

Includ­
ing
32. 7
29.4
27. 2
25.0
36.3
32.6
29.4
26.8
24.5
22.5
-

6 .6

Mar. 1955

Longevity
Exclud­
Includ­
ing
ing
19. 2
17. 5
16.3
15. 1
2 2 .0

19. 8
17.8
16.2
14.8
13.6
16. 8
14. 2
1 2 .0

10.4
9.3
6. 7

Exclud­
ing

Includ­
ing

19.0
17.2
16.1
14. 9
22. 1
19.9
17.9
16.3
14.9
13. 7
16,8
14.2

28.4
25. 8
24.1
22.4
33. 1
29.8
26.9
24.4
22.3
20.5
26.9
22. 7
19.1
16. 7
14.9
-

28.8
26.2
24.4
22. 7
33.0
29.6
26.8
24.4
2 2 .2

20.5
-

6 .2

-

1 2 .0

10.4
9.3
6. 7
36 . 2

-

-

Range as percent of minimum salary2
Jan. 1958
Exclud­
ing

July 1960

Longevity
Includ­
Excluding
ing

- --------------------------------------3 --------------------4 --------------------5 --------------------6 --------- ----------7 .........................
8 --------------------9 --------------------1 0 ------- ----------1 1 ------------------1 2 ------------------1 3 ------------------1 4 -------------------

19.3
17.5
16. 3
15. 2
22.3

1 0 .6

1 6 .9

1 5 ----------------------------

9 .4

1 5 .0

1 6 ..................................
1 7 ----------------------------

6 .8

1 8 ----------------------------

"

1
2

2 0 .0

18. 1
16.5
15.0
13. 8
17. 1
14.4
12. 1

6.2

28. 9
26.3
24.5
22. 8
33. 4
30. 1
27. 1
24. 7
2 2 .6
2 0 .8

27.3
23.0
19.4

-

19.8
18.0
16.8
15. 6
22. 8
20.5
18.5
16.8
15.4
14.2
17.2
14.5

Includ­
ing

Oct.
1962

Jan.
1964

July
1964

1 2 .2

29. 7
27.0
25. 1
23.4
34.2
30. 7
27. 7
25. 2
23. 1
21. 2
27. 5
23. 2
19.6

29. 1
26.5
26.4
30. 7
31. 5
30.4
30.1
30.3
30.3
30.2
26.4
26.6
26.2

28.6
26. 1
26.3
29. 9
30. 7
30.1
30.3
29.6
29.4
29. 8
26.6
26. 5
26.3

30.6
30.6
30.3
30.1
29. 7
30.2
29.8
29.9
30.5
30.8
30. 7
31. 2
31.3

1 0 .6

1 7 .0

2 6 .5

2 6 .4

31. 1

9 .5

1 5 .1

2 3 .1

2 3 .0

31.2

12.5

12.5

27. 7

11.1

11.1

14.0

6.8
6.3

-

“

1 In cluding lon gevity in creases.
2 Longevity steps w ere provided for em p loy ees in grades 1—10 until S ep tem b er 1954 when they w ere exten ded
to em ploy ees in grades 11—15.
Longevity steps, as such, no lon ger ex ist; they were incorporated into the regular
pay schedule in O ctober 1962.
3 In M arch 1955, 3 w ith in -grade in creases above the m in im um salary were provided for grade 17, m ak in g
th e ran ge 4 . 6 percen t o f the m in im um sala ry .
The 6 . 2 percent ran ge b e ca m e e ffe c tiv e in July 1956 when 1 step
w as ad ded to grade 17.




44

Table 5.

General
schedule
grade

----------------------------------------- ------------3 ---------------------------4 --------- -----------------5 and 6 -----------------7 and 8 ----------------9 and 1 0 ---------------1 1 ................. ..............
12 and 13 -------------14 and 15 - ...............
16 through 1 8 --------1

2

Percent Distribution of General Schedule Employees by Grade,
Selected Periods, 1939-631

Aug.
1939

July 1,
1946

13.1
18.1
14. 7
11.5
17.2
10.4

2.5
19.3

6 .8

3.8
3. 9
.5
-

July 1,
1950

July 8,
1951

1 .8

14.5

1.4
16.6

1. 1
11.5

2 2 .8

2 0 .6

2 1 .8

2 1 .0

13.6
13.9

14.8
14.8
12.3
9.2
5.1
5.8

13.9
14.5
11. 7
8. 7
4. 8
5.4

15.8
14.9

1 .1

1 .2

(2)

(2 )

1 1 .6

7.6
4 .0
4 .0
.7
-

July 1,
1954

1 2 .1
1 0 .1

5.8
6.3
1.5
.1

Total — --------

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

Number of
employees — -------

234,067

893,653

701,824

885,925

864,126

July 1,
1961

July 1,
1962

0 .2

0 .2

0 .1

3.5
15. 7
16.8
17.1
11.5
11. 7
9.2

3 .4
15. 1
16.6
17.0
11. 1
12. 1
9. 1

2. 7
13. 7
16.3
17.1

1 1 .1

1 1 .8

2.9

3.3

.1

1 0 .6
2 .8
.2

.2

.2

Total -----------

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

Number of
employees -----------

921,153

953,995

988, 241

1,039,224

1,083,633

July 1,
1958

........... ........................
................. - ..............
3 ..................................
4 ---------------------------5 and 6 — — ---- ——
7 and 8 ------------------9 and 1 0 ---------------1 1 ............................—
12 and 13 -------------14 and 1 5 -------------16 through 1 8 ---------

1
2

1
2

July 10.
I9601

0.4
5. 8
19.5
16.9
15. 7

0.3
4.1
16. 7
16.8
16. 7
11. 5
11. 7
8. 7

1 1 .6

11.3
7.6
8.9
2 .2

Beginning in 1960, data include employees in Alaska and Hawaii.
Less than 0. 05 percent.

NOTE: Because of rounding, totals may not equal 100.




July 1,
1963

1 1 .1

12.5
9. 8
12. 7
3.8
.3

45

T a b l e 6.

P e r c e n t I n c r e a s e i n M i n i m u m a n d A v e r a g e {Sa l a r i e s 1 o f F e d e r a l C l a s s i f i e d E m p l o y e e s , b y G r a d e ,
AN D IN

TH E

C O N S U M E R P R IC E I N D E X ,

SE LE C T ED

D A T E S TO J U L Y 5 ,

1964

Percent increase to July 5,1964 from—
General schedule grade and Consumer Price Index
Aug. 1,1939 July 1,1950 July 1,1958 July 10,1960 July 1,1961 July 1,1962 July 1,1963 Jan. 5,1964 1
General schedule grade:
1: M inim um salary rate_____ ______________ ______
Average salary________________ _____ ___________
2: M inim um salary rate___________________________
Average salary_________________ ____ ___________
3: M inim um salary rate............... - _ .______ ________
Average salary_____ ____________________________
4: M inim um salary rate----- ---------------------- -----------Average salary----------- --------------------------------------5: M inim um salary rate___________________________
Average salary----------- ---------- ---------------------- ------6: Minimum salary rate----------------- -----------------------Average salary______________________ _____ _____
7: M inim um salary rate___________________________
Average salary___________ ______________________
8: M inim um salary rate___________________________
Average salary-------------- ---------- --------------------------9: M inim um salary rate____ ______________________
Average salary----------- ------- --------------------------------10: M inim um salary rate-------------- ---------- ---------------Average salary__________________________________
11: M inim um salary rate___________________________
Average salary-------- ------------------------------ ---------12: M inim um salary rate__________________________
Average salary__________________ ______ - ............
13: M inim um salary rate___________________________
Average salary_____________________ _____ ______14: M inim um salary rate__________ _________ - ........ .
Average salary__________________________________
15: M inim um salary rate___________________________
Average salary__________________________________
16: M inim um salary rate------------------------------------Average salary_______________________ __________
17: M inim um salary r a t e -------- ----------------------------Average salary____________ _____ __________ ____
18: M inim um salary rate_________________ ______
Average salary_________________________________

186.9
2 207.8
155.6
2 168.2
147.2
2 168.2
148.9
172.3
150.0
166.7
139.3
159.4
132.7
145.0
128.6
144.6
125.6
140.6
125.7
142.4
127.6
»133.7
122.8
» 129.4
115.6
3 123.8
118.0
3121.6
105.8
3 109.9
(4)
(4)
(4)
(4
)
(4)
(4
)

53.9
2 59.8
50.2
2 51.3
51.1
2 57.5
55.8
63.8
61.3
64.4
59.6
65.6
58.2
59.5
57.9
62.2
57.0
61.2
58.0
66.2
60.2
»62.0
60.2
3 62.8
58.9
*63.5
61.0
3 65.9
64.6
3 67.9
69.1
3 81.3
75.8
83.4
75.0
75.0

14.4
2 15.5
13.1
2 14.2
14.6
2 18.6
19.3
23.2
23.8
22.5
22.6
24.4
21.5
21.1
21.2
24.2
20.6
22.8
21.4
26.1
23.0
3 21.9
23.0
3 22.3
22.1
3 22.4
24.8
3 26.1
28.9
*31.4
33.4
3 39.0
39.5
42.9
40.0
40.0

6.3
2 6.4
5.1
2 6.2
6.5
»9 .8
10.9
14.1
15.1
13.8
14.0
15.9
13.0
12.4
12.7
15.2
12.2
14.5
12.9
17.4
14.4
8 14.6
14.5
3 15.2
13.5
«15.1
16.1
3 18.4
19.9
3 22.9
24.1
3 30.2
29.7
33.7
32.4
32.4

6.3
2 6.8
5.1
2 6.4
6.5
2 10.0
10.9
14.1
15.1
13.5
14.0
14.8
13.0
12.5
12.7
14.6
12.2
14.5
12.9
17.2
14.4
3 15.1
14.5
8 15.8
13.5
3 15.8
16.1
3 19.1
19.9
3 23.2
24.1
3 30.1
29.7
33.7
32.4
32.4

6.3
2 8.4
5.1
2 7.6
6.5
2 10.6
10.9
14.4
15.1
13.5
14.0
14.0
13.0
12.6
12.7
14.9
12.2
14.3
12.9
17.1
14.4
3 14.2
14.5
3 16.4
13.5
3 16.5
16.1
3 19.7
19.9
3 23.7
24.1
3 30.0
29.7
33.8
32.4
32.4

Consumer Price Index (1957-59=100)-----------------------------

124.9

29.0

7.1

4.8

3.6

2.6

1 See footnote 1, table 3.
2 See footnote 3, table 3.
3 See footnote 4, table 3.

Government employees,1 but have created a de­
3
mand for new types of workers.1
4
From 1951 to 1961, the Federal Government
experienced a 32-percent decline in subprofessional
mathematical and statistical employees, a 100percent increase in mathematicians, and a 13percent increase in statisticians. The growth of
scientific activities of the Government has resulted
in greatly increased needs for scientists and en­
gineers and related professional people.1 For
5
example, the number of scientists and engineers
working on NASA programs grew from 8,400 (or
less than 1 percent of the estimated 1.2 million in
the country) in 1960 to 43,000 (or about 3 percent
of the total) by 1963.
New legislation (e.g., regulating collective
bargaining) increased the employment of hearing
examiners, lawyers, etc. New laws and a growing
population have also created a need for more
social security claims examiners, food and drug
inspectors, etc. This has been reflected in an
increase in employement in legal and kindred




4.3
2 3.3
3.4

23.8

2.4

23 .I

1.7

22.8

4.8
2 6.4
9.0
8.7
9.5
8.5
9.3
9.2
9.2
7.7
8.9
8.7
8.2
7.7
8.4
8.5
7.5
3 6.6
8.2
3 8.4
8.3
»8.6
10.3
310.5
13.0
3 13.2
18.3
3 19.1
19.1
20.3
22.5
22.5

1

3.2
*5.2
6.3
6.4
6.6
6.2
5.2
5.2
4.4
4.2
3.8
3.9
2.7
3.0
2.7
3.0
2.9
3 3.0
2.7
3 3.0
3.0
3 3.4
4.1
>4.4
5.1
« 5.5
18.3
>19.2
19.1
20.3
22.5
22.5

1.0

8.6

4 Grades 16,17, and 18 were created b y the Classification A ct of 1949.
5 Increase to June 1964.

occupations. Increases occurred also in the num­
ber of highway engineers, specialists in business
and industry, and professionals in the field of
education. The number of medical officers rose as
Congress provided for increased medical research
and public health services and as war veterans
sought an increasing amount of Government medi­
cal assistance.
Government has shared with private industry
the trend toward increasing employment of whitecollar workers and a decrease in the relative
importance of blue-collar employees. Clerical,
administrative, and professional employees repre­
sented 26 percent of Federal civilian employment
in 1939, 42 percent in 1958, and 46 percent in 1963.
* From 1939 to 1963, Federal civilian employment, excluding employees of
>
the Central Intelligence and National Security Agencies for which data are
not available, increased to 4 from 3 percent of total nonagricultural employ­
ment.
i* See “ Government and Manpower Requirements,” M o n th ly L a b or
R ev ie w , April 1964, pp. 407-413.
is For an analysis of white-collar occupational groups, see O ccu p a tio n s o f
F ed era l W h ite -C o lla r W o r k e rs , O ctober SO, 1960 (U.S. Civil Service Commis­
sion, 1963, Pamphlet 56-4;.




Appendix. Scope and Method of Survey
T h is g r o u p o f i n d e x e s is d e s i g n e d to m e a s u r e t r e n d s in s a l a r i e s o f an im p o r t a n t
g r o u p o f w o r k e r s in n o n m a n u fa c t u r i n g e m p l o y m e n t . T h e i n d e x e s c o n s i s t o f t h r e e m e a s u r e s
o f the m o v e m e n t o f F e d e r a l c l a s s i f i e d e m p l o y e e s ’ s a l a r i e s ; on e in d e x r e f l e c t s the m o v e m e n t
c a u s e d b y s t a t u t o r y c h a n g e s in b a s i c s a l a r i e s , the s e c o n d , t h e s e s t a t u t o r y c h a n g e s in c o m ­
b in a t i o n w ith m e r i t o r in g r a d e s a l a r y i n c r e a s e s , and the t h ir d in d e x m e a s u r e s the e f f e c t
o f s t a t u t o r y c h a n g e s , i n g r a d e i n c r e a s e s , and c h a n g e s in the d i s t r i b u t i o n of e m p l o y e e s a m o n g
the v a r i o u s p a y g r a d e s .
C o v e r a g e . T h e F e d e r a l e m p l o y e e s c o v e r e d b y the i n d e x e s p r e s e n t e d h e r e a r e the
p e r - a n n u m w o r k e r s w h o s e s a l a r i e s a r e e s t a b l i s h e d b y the F e d e r a l C l a s s i f i c a t i o n A c t s o f
1923 and 1949. T h e w o r k e r s u n d e r stu d y a r e e n g a g e d m a i n l y in c l e r i c a l , a d m i n i s t r a t i v e , and
p r o f e s s i o n a l f u n c t i o n s , but s m a l l e r g r o u p s in s u b p r o f e s s i o n a l c a t e g o r i e s and in c r a f t , p r o ­
t e c t i v e , and c u s t o d i a l j o b s a r e a l s o i n c l u d e d . E x c l u d e d f r o m the stu d y a r e (1) m e m b e r s o f
the A r m e d F o r c e s , (2) b l u e - c o l l a r w o r k e r s w h o s e w a g e s a r e f i x e d b y w a g e b o a r d a c t i o n ,
(3) p o s t a l e m p l o y e e s , and (4) p e r d i e m e m p l o y e e s s u b j e c t to the C l a s s i f i c a t i o n A c t and the
c l e r i c a l - m e c h a n i c a l h o u r l y e m p l o y e e s o f the B u r e a u o f E n g r a v i n g and P r i n t i n g .
(T h e l a s t
w e r e c o v e r e d b y the C l a s s i f i c a t i o n A c t o f 1923 but a r e n ot s u b j e c t to the c u r r e n t a c t . )
T w o b r o a d p a y s c h e d u l e s w e r e e s t a b l i s h e d b y the C l a s s i f i c a t i o n A c t o f 1949 f o r the
w o r k e r s c o v e r e d b y th is r e p o r t — the G e n e r a l S c h e d u l e , c o v e r i n g w o r k e r s p e r f o r m i n g c l e r i ­
c a l , a d m i n i s t r a t i v e , f i s c a l , s u b p r o f e s s i o n a l , o r p r o f e s s i o n a l f u n c t i o n s , 1 and the C P C S c h e d ­
u l e , c o v e r i n g c r a f t , p r o t e c t i v e , and c u s t o d i a l w o r k e r s .
E a c h s c h e d u l e c o n s i s t e d o f a s e r i e s o f s a l a r y g r a d e s in to w h ic h w o r k e r s w e r e
c l a s s i f i e d in a c c o r d a n c e w ith t h e i r d u t ie s .
E a c h s a l a r y g r a d e h a d a m i n i m u m r a te and a
s e r i e s o f a d d it i o n a l p a y s te p s w h i c h w o r k e r s w h o h ad m e t c e r t a i n s ta n d a r d s r e c e i v e d a f t e r
sp e cifie d p e rio d s of tim e. 2
B e g i n n i n g in 1955, o n ly s a l a r y t r e n d s o f e m p l o y e e s u n d e r the g e n e r a l s c h e d u l e w e r e
u s e d , as the c r a f t s , p r o t e c t i v e , and c u s t o d i a l s c h e d u l e w a s a b o l i s h e d e f f e c t i v e J u ly 1, 1955.
A b o u t t w o - t h i r d s o f t h e s e e m p l o y e e s w e r e t r a n s f e r r e d to w a g e - b o a r d c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s and the
r e m a i n i n g o n e - t h i r d to the g e n e r a l s c h e d u l e .
I n c l u s i o n in the g e n e r a l s c h e d u l e o f about
35, 000 f o r m e r C P C w o r k e r s a f f e c t e d the t h r e e m e a s u r e s o f s a l a r y ch a n g e o n ly s li g h t ly .
T h e i n d e x e s f o r 1955 w e r e a d ju s t e d to in c l u d e t h e s e f o r m e r C P C e m p l o y e e s .
F e d e r a l C l a s s i f i c a t i o n A c t e m p l o y e e s s t a t io n e d in A l a s k a and H a w a ii w e r e i n c l u d e d f o r
the f i r s t t i m e in the I9 6 0 i n d e x e s and o t h e r data u s e d f o r that r e p o r t . A v e r a g e s a l a r y r a t e s
w e r e i n c r e a s e d 0. 1 p e r c e n t b y the i n c l u s i o n o f 15, 676 w o r k e r s in the c o u n t r y 's tw o n e w e s t
S ta te s .
O n ly m i n o r v a r i a t i o n s in the d i s t r i b u t i o n o f e m p l o y m e n t at the v a r i o u s g r a d e s r e ­
su lte d f r o m the a d d it i o n s , m a i n l y b e c a u s e o f the r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l n u m b e r o f w o r k e r s i n v o l v e d .
S o u r c e o f D a t a . Data on s a l a r i e s o f C l a s s i f i e d F e d e r a l w o r k e r s h a v e b e e n c o l l e c t e d
f r o m the e m p l o y i n g a g e n c i e s at v a r y i n g t i m e i n t e r v a l s b y the U. S. C i v i l S e r v i c e C o m m i s s i o n .
T h e e a r l i e s t c o m p l e t e stu d y w a s m a d e in J a n u a r y 1937 and the n ex t in A u g u s t 1939.
In
the i n t e r i m b e t w e e n A u g u s t 1939 and J u ly 1946, tw o s t u d ie s w e r e m a d e (in 1942 and 1944)
w h i c h c o u l d n ot b e u s e d f o r in d e x p u r p o s e s b e c a u s e d a ta w e r e n o t c o m p l e t e with r e g a r d to
d i s t r i b u t i o n o f e m p l o y e e s a m o n g v a r i o u s w i t h i n - g r a d e s t e p s . F o r e a c h y e a r s i n c e 1946, h o w ­
e v e r , data h a v e b e e n c o l l e c t e d and ta b u la t e d in a m a n n e r w h i c h m a k e s p o s s i b l e t h e i r u s e
in the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a s e r i e s o f i n d e x e s .

1 Prior to the A ct o f 1949 these workers w ere d ivid ed into three services— c le r ic a l, a dm inistrative, and fisc a l, p rofessional, and
subprofessional. The indexes for these ea rlier periods giv e proper w eight to the services that w ere co m b in e d into the general sch ed u le.
2 For the entire CPC services and GS-1—10, six a d d itional pay steps were p rov id ed at 5 2 -w e e k intervals fo llo w e d by three fur­
ther (lon gevity) steps at 3 -y e a r intervals.
For grades G S -1 1—17, ad d ition a l pay steps w ere p rov id ed at 7 8 -w e e k intervals: Five steps
for grades GS-11—14, four steps for grades G S -15—
17, until S eptem ber 1954, w h en three lo n g e v ity steps at 3 -y e a r intervals w ere added
to grades GS-11—15.
B eginning in O ctob er 1962, em p loy ees in grades GS-1—17 m ain taining a cce p ta b le le ve ls o f p erform ance pro­
gressed to the next higher step after 1 year in steps 1, 2, or 3, after 2 years in steps 4, 5 , or 6 , and after 3 years in steps 7, 8,
or 9.
L ongevity steps, as such, no lon g er exist,* they w ere in corp ora ted into the regular pay sched ule in O ctob er 1962. T here are no
a d d itional pay steps for grade G S -1 8.




47

48

J a n u a r y 1937 w a s o r i g i n a l l y c o n s i d e r e d f o r u s e as the b a s e p e r i o d f o r the F e d e r a l
c l a s s i f i e d w o r k e r i n d e x e s , s i n c e this w a s the e a r l i e s t d a te f o r w h i c h c o m p l e t e i n f o r m a t i o n
w as a v a ila b le.
H o w e v e r , in v i e w o f the e c o n o m i c s i g n i f i c a n c e o f 1939, in d e x e s o f w a g e s
and e a r n i n g s f o r v a r i o u s g r o u p s o f w o r k e r s t y p i c a l l y m a k e u s e o f this la t t e r y e a r as the
b ase p eriod w here p o s s ib le .
T o f a c i l i t a t e c o m p a r i s o n s w ith t h e s e o t h e r g r o u p s , 1939 h a s
b e e n u s e d as the b a s e y e a r f o r in d e x e s f o r F e d e r a l w o r k e r s .
A c t u a l l y the u s e o f the
1939 b a s e d o e s n o t s u b s t a n t ia l ly a l t e r the i n d e x e s .
T h e b a s i c p a y s c a l e s in e f f e c t w e r e
i d e n t i c a l f o r 1937 and 1939 and the d i s t r i b u t i o n o f e m p l o y e e s w ith in g r a d e s and a m o n g g r a d e s
w a s v i r t u a l l y the s a m e in the tw o p e r i o d s .
Data f o r 1939, 1946, and 1947 i n c l u d e b o th f u l l - and p a r t - t i m e e m p l o y e e s ; h o w e v e r ,
data f o r p a r t - t i m e w o r k e r s a r e c o n v e r t e d to f u l l - t i m e r a t e s .
M o r e o v e r , the n u m b e r o f
p a r t - t i m e w o r k e r s is r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l (o n ly o n e - t e n t h o f 1 p e r c e n t o f the to ta l in 1948 and
1949, the o n ly p e r i o d s f o r w h i c h a b r e a k d o w n f o r the tw o c a t e g o r i e s is a v a i l a b l e ) . H e n c e ,
t h e i r i n c l u s i o n o r e x c l u s i o n c o u l d n o t a p p r e c i a b l y a f f e c t the d i s t r i b u t i o n o f w o r k e r s a m o n g
p a y g r a d e s and s t e p s .
C o n s e q u e n t ly , in n o n e o f the in d e x e s w a s any a d ju s t m e n t a t t e m p t e d
f o r th is v a r i a t i o n in c o v e r a g e .
Index C o n s t r u c t i o n .
In c o n s t r u c t i n g the a v e r a g e s a l a r y r a t e i n d e x e s , the e f f e c t o f
c h a n g e s in o c c u p a t i o n a l o r g r a d e s t r u c t u r e h a s b e e n e l i m i n a t e d b y the " c h a i n " m e t h o d o f
in d e x c o n s t r u c t i o n .
F irs t, a vera ges fo r each grade w e re com puted fo r each p e r io d by
m u l t i p l y i n g (w e ig h tin g ) e a c h p a y step w ith in the g r a d e b y the n u m b e r o f p e o p l e e m p l o y e d at
that ste p in th e g r a d e .
N e x t , an a v e r a g e f o r a ll g r a d e s c o m b i n e d w a s c o m p u t e d f o r e a c h
y e a r ; the in d iv i d u a l g r a d e a v e r a g e s f o r e a c h p a i r o f s u c c e s s i v e y e a r s w e r e m u l t i p l i e d b y the
n u m b e r o f p e o p l e in the g r a d e in the l a t t e r y e a r .
(In the f i r s t i n s t a n c e , 1939 and 1946 w e r e
p a i r e d b e c a u s e o f the a b s e n c e o f data f o r the in t e r v e n in g y e a r s . 3 )
F i n a l l y , the p e r c e n t a g e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n the o v e r a l l a v e r a g e f o r e a c h p a i r o f
y e a r s w a s c o m p u t e d and lin k e d to the in d e x f o r the p r e c e d i n g p e r i o d .
F o r e x a m p l e , the
1946 in d e x w a s o b t a i n e d b y m u l t i p l y i n g 133 p e r c e n t (the p e r c e n t a g e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f 1946 to
1939) b y th e 1939 in d e x , w h i c h , as the b a s e y e a r , w a s 100.
S i m i l a r l y , the 1947 in d e x o f
135 w a s c o m p u t e d b y m u l t i p l y i n g the p e r c e n t a g e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n 1946 and 1947 (1 0 1 .8 6 )
b y 133. T h e s a m e m e t h o d o f lin k in g w a s u s e d f o r e a c h s u c c e s s i v e p a i r o f y e a r s — 1947—4 8 ,
1948—49 , 1949—50.
T h e u s e o f th is m e t h o d s h o w s the e f f e c t o f i n g r a d e r a i s e s and any
c h a n g e s in b a s i c p a y s t r u c t u r e w h i c h m a y h a v e o c c u r r e d but e l i m i n a t e s the e f f e c t o f sh ift s
am ong g ra d es.
T h e in d e x e s o f a v e r a g e s a l a r i e s d i f f e r f r o m the s a l a r y r a te i n d e x e s in on e i m p o r ­
tant r e s p e c t , t h e y r e f l e c t the e f f e c t o f e m p l o y m e n t s h ift s a m o n g g r a d e s , w h ic h w e r e e l i m ­
in a te d in the r a te i n d e x e s .
In c o m p u t i n g the a v e r a g e s a l a r y i n d e x e s , e a c h s a l a r y r a te
(in c lu d in g a ll w i t h i n - g r a d e s t e p s ) w a s m u l t i p l i e d b y the n u m b e r o f p e o p l e at that r a te in e a c h
p e r i o d to p r o d u c e an o v e r a l l a v e r a g e f o r the p e r i o d .
T h is a v e r a g e w a s then s i m p l y d i ­
v i d e d b y the o v e r a l l a v e r a g e f o r the b a s e p e r i o d .
F o r in d iv id u a l g r a d e s , the s a l a r y r a te and the a v e r a g e s a l a r y i n d e x e s a r e i d e n t i c a l
in that the s a m e m e t h o d w a s u s e d f o r c o m p u t i n g g r a d e a v e r a g e s .
(E a c h w i t h i n - g r a d e step
w a s w e i g h t e d b y the e m p l o y m e n t at that s t e p . ) D i f f e r e n c e s in the s a l a r y ra te i n d e x e s and
the a v e r a g e s a l a r y i n d e x e s o c c u r o n ly w h e n the in d iv i d u a l g r a d e a v e r a g e s a r e c o m b i n e d into
b roa d er groups.
T h e b a s i c p a y s c a l e in d e x ( c o n s t r u c t e d b y the U . S . C i v i l S e r v i c e C o m m i s s i o n th r o u g h
1952) d i f f e r s f r o m the a v e r a g e s a l a r y ra te in d e x o n ly in the c o m p u t a t i o n o f the g r a d e a v e r a g e s .
T h e s a m e d i s t r i b u t i o n o f w o r k e r s at p a y s t e p s w ith in a g r a d e is a s s u m e d f o r e a c h p a i r o f
years.
T h i s in d e x thus r e m a i n s u n a f f e c t e d b y s h ift s in p a y s t e p s w ith in a g r a d e . L ik e the
s a l a r y r a te i n d e x e s , it a l s o e x c l u d e s the e f f e c t o f s h ift s in o c c u p a t i o n a l o r g r a d e s t r u c t u r e
f r o m o n e p e r i o d to a n o t h e r .
In s h o r t , th e b a s i c p a y s c a l e in d e x e s r e f l e c t o n ly c h a n g e s in
sa la ry s c a le s voted by C o n g re s s .

3
A lthou gh there w ere no co m p le te salary surveys b e tw e e n 1939 and 1946, it se e m e d d esirable to present an estim ated ind ex
o f a vera ge salary rates for a p eriod la te in the war but prior to the increases in pay sca les m ad e in July 1945 and July 1946.
Con­
sequ ently the estim ate for June 1945 was prepared. For this estim ate, the sam e distribution o f em p lo y e e s am on g grades and am ong
steps w ithin grades was assum ed for 1945 as for 1939, as it is know n that little or no change due to m erit increases o ccu rre d over
the p eriod .
V irtu ally the entire ch an ge re fle c te d in the 1945 estim ated in d ex was caused b y the pay raise g iv e n the workers in the
CPC grades and in SP-1 and 2 in August 1942.




A U .S . GOVERNMENT PRIN TIN G O F F IC E : 1 9 6 5 0 - 7 7 4 - 9 1




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