The Biden administration has moved to increase the minimum wage for all federal employees to $15 an hour, according to a Jan. 21 release from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
The change will boost pay for 67,000 of the total 2.2 million federal employees. Most of those impacted work for the Department of Defense (DOD). Others include the Departments of Agriculture, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, according to OPM.
“We know that paying a living wage provides a myriad of benefits, from recruitment to retention to increased productivity, and more. It’s also the right thing to do,” said OPM Director Kiran Ahuja in a statement. “We should strive for every federal job to be a good job, and we want to ensure that every federal employee has a pathway to the middle class.”
The new directive comes as part of an executive order President Joe Biden signed at the start of his presidency, which directs the OPM director to submit a report on the impact of a minimum wage increase. That report was submitted to the White House and Friday’s issued guidance reflects the report’s findings, the statement reads.
Last year, Biden also issued an executive order increasing pay for federal contract workers to $15 an hour.
Friday’s announcement also noted the new wage will impact 130 wildland firefighters, 400 plant protection technicians, 3,800 custodial workers, and roughly 50,000 Defense Department employees at military bases around the United States.
The pay increase excludes the U.S. Postal Service and Postal Regulatory Commission as those agencies are outside the scope of OPM’s authority, the statement said.
The new guidance from OPM does not make note of the impact the wage increase will have on federal spending, and the agency did not respond to a request for comment in time for the publication of this article.
OPM has asked agencies to implement the new wage increase by the end of the month.