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A Military Pay Raise of 2.3% for 2016?

Initial 2016 Pay Raise Indicator Released

Updated: April 3, 2015

This morning at 0830EST, the United States Employment Cost Index (ECI) was released. The releasing of the ECI by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is an eagerly awaited quarterly economic indicator for those in the stock market and politics; but what makes this morning’s release important to our military it that one of its indicators is used to determine any pay raise amount for 2016’s raise.

According to U.S. Code Title 37, that is how it is supposed to work unless the President determines that the state of the economy is such that he must intervene. For both 2014 and 2015, ECI dictated a 1.8% raise. For 2014, President Obama stepped in and followed the recommendation of the Department of Defense (DOD) to mandate just a one percent raise, and because Congress did not find the money in the budget to pay for the additional 0.8%, his one percent carried the day. The 2014 story looks to be repeating itself exactly for 2015. Without Congress finding the money in the budget to pay for the additional 0.8%, the 2015 pay raise will be just one percent.

The indicator from ECI that is utilized for the 2016 raise is the “wages and salaries, for private industry workers for the period ending September 2014”; this morning’s number is 2.3%. For 2016, the military should see a raise of 2.3%; however, if the last two years are an indication, President Obama will follow DOD’s recommendation of another one percent pay raise. And again, just as for 2015, Congress will have to find the additional funds to cover if the President in fact dictates a less amount than today’s ECI figure.



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A Navy recruiting blog that delves into the military enlistment process and benefits of service. This is NOT an official United States Navy or government web site. The opinions expressed are my own, and may not be in-line with any branches of the government or military.

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