What are employer costs for wages and benefits?

Employer Costs for Wages and Benefits and Changes in CostsThe Employment Cost Index (ECI) component of the National Compensation Survey (NCS) is a Principal Federal Economic Indicator that measures changes in labor costs. Average hourly costs for employee compensation is presented in the Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) series.

Who has benefits?

Who has benefits and how do benefits work?The NCS also provides benefits incidence data on the percentage of workers with access to and participating in employer provided benefit plans. The survey covers a broad range of benefits including holidays and vacations, sick leave, health and life insurance, and retirement plans. Details of employer-provided health and retirement plan provisions are also provided.

Announcement

The originally published estimates for the Employment Cost Index for September 2012 through March 2013 were found to contain errors and have been corrected. The primary errors were in benefits data for private industry. Similar series for the Employer Costs for Employee Compensation in September 2012 and December 2012 were also affected. Additional series were subject to correction as well. More...

 

For Your Information

Changes in the presentation of the text section of The Employment Cost Index news release were incorporated in the edition published on July 31, 2009. There were no changes to the format and content of the tables. More...

NCS News Releases

Employee Benefits in the United States

July 17, 2013
Medical care benefits were available to 85 percent of full-time private industry workers in March 2013 versus 24 percent of part-time workers. Paid sick leave was available to 74 percent of full- time and 24 percent of part-time workers. More...
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Employment Cost Index (ECI)

January 31, 2014
Wages and salaries rose 0.6 percent and benefit costs rose 0.6 percent for civilian workers, seasonally adjusted, from September to December 2013. Over the year, compensation rose 2.0 percent, wages and salaries rose 1.9 percent, and benefits rose 2.2 percent. More...
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Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC)

March 12, 2014
Private industry employers spent an average of $29.63 per hour worked for employee compensation in December 2013. Private industry costs averaged $2.05 per hour worked for paid leave benefits and $2.43 for legally required benefits. More...
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Archived NCS News Releases

  • ECI Archives - Complete set of ECI news releases from 1976.
  • ECEC Archives - Complete set of ECEC news releases from 1986.
  • Employee Benefits—latest benefit news releases.
    • Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2011 (TXT) (PDF)
    • Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2010 (TXT) (PDF)
    • Health Plan Provision in State and Local Government in the United States, 2011 (PDF)
    • Employee Benefits in State and Local Government, September 2007 (HTML) (PDF)
  • Subscribe to the BLS News Service—receive the Employment Cost Index news release and other major economic indicators by e-mail.
  • NCS Regional News Releases
  • ECI Regional News Releases

 

NCS Databases

Databases

Database Name Special
Notice
Top
Picks
One
Screen
Multi-
Screen
Tables Text Files
Pay
National Compensation Survey
      Multi Screen Data Search Tables Text Files
Pay & Cost of Benefits
Employment Cost Index
  Top Picks One Screen Data Search Multi Screen Data Search Tables Text Files
Employer Cost for Employee Compensation
  Top Picks One Screen Data Search Multi Screen Data Search Tables Text Files
Benefit Incidence & Provisions
Employee Benefits Survey
(1985 to 2006)

  Top Picks One Screen Data Search Multi Screen Data Search   Text Files
National Compensation Survey - Benefits (Beginning with
2010 data)*
  Top Picks   Multi Screen Data Search Tables Text Files

*2007 to 2009 benefits data are not available in the National Compensation Survey data base.
For data during these years, see the NCS publication archive.

 

More Tools

  • Series Report —Already know the series identifier for the statistic you want? Use this shortcut to retrieve your data.
  • National Compensation Search--allows you to search through all the National Compensation Survey publications that are currently available electronically.

All NCS Databases »

 

NCS Tables

NCS Tables

  • ECI Current-Dollar Historical Listings
  • ECI Constant-Dollar Historical Listings
    • ECI Historical Listings - Continuous Occupational and Industry Series, September 1975 - Present (TXT) (PDF)
    • ECI Standard Errors
    • Corrections to Employment Cost Index data, June 2009 - September 2010
    • UPDATED ECEC Historical Listing, 2004 to present (Quarterly)-Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (TXT) (PDF) -- Quarterly estimates from March 2004 to the present, with sample establishments classified by industry categories based on the new 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and the 2000 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system.
    • UPDATED ECEC Supplemental Tables Historical Data, December 2006 - December 2013 (TXT) (PDF)
    • NEW ECEC Supplemental Tables - December 2013 (TXT) (PDF) -- supplemental tables with series for private industry workers by occupational group, establishment size, and bargaining status in 14 detailed industries.
    • UPDATED ECEC Relative Standard Errors (TXT) (PDF)
    • UPDATED ECEC Relative Standard Errors-Supplementary Tables (TXT) (PDF)
    • EBS Standard Errors
    • Retirement Benefit Standard Errors, State and Local Government
    • ECEC Historical Listing, 2002-2003 (Quarterly)—Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (TXT) (PDF) -- Quarterly estimates from March 2002 to December 2003, with sample establishments classified by industry categories based on the 1987 Standard Industry Classification (SIC) system and by occupational classifications according to the 1990 Census of Population.
    • ECEC Historical Listing, 1986-2001 (Annual)—Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (TXT) (PDF) -- Annual estimates from March 1986 to March 2001, with sample establishments classified by industry categories based on the Standard Industry Classification (SIC) system and by occupational classifications according to the Census of Population.
    • Seasonal Factors and Revised Seasonally Adjusted Indexes
    • Chart—Changes in wages and salaries and benefit costs, civilian workers

 

NCS Publications

 

NCS Frequently Asked Questions

 

NCS Special Notice

None

Related Links to Other BLS Programs

  • Employment Cost Trends—quarterly indexes measuring change over time in labor costs and quarterly data measuring level of average costs per hour worked.
  • Benefits—comprehensive data on incidence and provisions of selected employee benefit plans.
  • Occupational Employment Statistics—data on employment and wages for over 800 occupations and for about 400 nonfarm industries for the nation, plus occupational data for States and metropolitan areas.
  • Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages —comprehensive employment and wage data by industry and geographic area for workers covered by State Unemployment Insurance laws.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook—provides data for 250 occupations, by nature of the work, working conditions, employment, job outlook and earnings, related occupations, sources of additional information, and training, other qualifications, and advancement.
  • Major Work Stoppages—provides monthly and annual data and analysis of major work stoppages involving 1,000 or more workers.

Other Useful Links

 

Contact Us

Contacts

The Office of Compensation Levels and Trends, Branch of Survey Information and Publications, will be glad to assist you with questions about any of the components of the National Compensation Survey.

Ways to Contact BLS Directly

Email: Contact us

Telephone: (202) 691-6199 (Monday - Friday, 8:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.)

Question-by-FAX: (202) 691-6647

Information and assistance is also available from any BLS regional office.

TDD

Information voice phone: (202) 691-5200 The Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339

Write or Personal Visit

Bureau of Labor Statistics
OCLT/SI&P
2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E. - Suite 4175
Washington, D.C. 20212-0001

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