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A 2.1 Percent Pay Raise for 2017?

First 2017 Military Pay Raise Indicator Released

Updated: December 5, 2015

Today, October 30, 2015, 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 is that one of the main indicators is used to determine any pay raise amount for 2017’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 2014, 2015, and for 2016 ECI indicated a higher raise than what was ultimately passed. 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 percent, his one percent carried the day. The 2014 story repeated itself exactly for 2015. The ECI for 2016’s raise indicated a 2.3 percent raise, but it will be a full one percent lower because neither Houses of Congress ultimately found the money. A 1.3 percent raise for 2016 will end up carrying the day.

The indicator from ECI that is utilized for the 2017 raise is the “wages and salaries, for private industry workers for the period ending September 2015”; this morning’s number is 2.1%. For 2017, the military should see a raise of 2.1%; however, if the last three years are an indication, President Obama will follow DOD’s recommendation, and currently, according to the Green Book released, that would be just a 1.3 percent raise once again unless Congress can find the additional funds to cover it.

We’ll know how the 2017 basic pay will shape up once the President releases his budget in early February 2016.




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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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