Unemployment rate grows as White House communicators see pay increases

An administration spokesperson said the average annual salary of staffers has decreased, even though several staffers got hefty raises.

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Last week’s news of the White House raises provided plenty of fodder for critics of the Obama administration, and communicators were among the 20 biggest beneficiaries of the pay boost.

Consider the following:

• Kevin Lewis, director of African-American media, went from $42,000 to $78,000.

• Elizabeth Olsen, special assistant to the president and director of presidential correspondence, saw her $76,500 salary boosted to $110,000.

• Thomas Vietor, senior director and national security staff spokesman, is now raking in $105,000 per year—up from $78,000.

• Johanna Maska, deputy director of advance and director of press advance, was making $56,100 a year; she’s now earning $80,000 annually.

• Semonti Stephens, deputy communications director, is now making $75,000—a $21,000 boost from what she had been making.

• Andrea Turk, director of information services, now makes $70,000—up from her previous salary of $50,000.

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