The White House’s Total Payroll is Down, But the Typical Staffer is Earning More

Sergiy Palamarchuk/

The average salary of a White House staffer increased slightly between 2013 and 2014, but the total pay for those 456 employees dropped.

The White House is paying out $82,855 less in overall salary to staff this year than it did in 2013, according to its annual report of employee titles and yearly pay released on Tuesday. The latest annual report, required by Congress since 1995, shows the total payroll for White House staff is at $37.78 million, down from $37.86 million in 2013. That’s also less than the $39.15 million in total combined pay for the White House staff in 2009.

Individual White House employees on average, however, are earning slightly more now than they did five years ago. The average salary in the 2014 report is $82,844, up $540 from 2013 and $2,460 from 2009, when it was $80,384. Average White House salaries have gone up and down since 2009, but have risen steadily since 2012, as the chart below shows. That puts the average White House salary on par with the average salary for other federal employees, which was nearly $78,500 as of September 2012 and has increased slightly since the pay freeze was lifted for 2014, and step increases and promotions remained in effect through the three-year across-the-board freeze.

Still, as many federal workers who do not earn upwards of $80,000 per year point out, averages don’t tell the whole story. The median salary for White House staff in 2014 was $70,700 – the middle point at which half the salaries fall above and half fall below that figure. That’s close enough to the average, but doesn’t tell us which salary occurs most frequently on the list of 456 current White House employees: That would be $42,420 in 2014.

Twenty-two out of the 456 White House employees listed earn the maximum salary to date of $172,200, according to the 2014 report. 

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