Technical Note


                                       TECHNICAL NOTE


Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) measures the average cost to employers for wages 
and salaries and benefits per employee hour worked.

ECEC includes the civilian economy, which includes data from both private industry and state and local 
government. Excluded from private industry are the self-employed and farm and private household 
workers. Federal government workers are excluded from the public sector. The private industry series 
and the state and local government series provide data for the two sectors separately.

The ECEC cost levels for this quarter were collected from a probability sample of approximately 43,700 
occupations selected from a sample of about 8,900 establishments in private industry and approximately 
8,900 occupations from a sample of about 1,400 establishments in state and local government.  

Comparing private and public sector data

Compensation cost levels in state and local government should not be directly compared with levels in 
private industry. Differences between these sectors stem from factors such as variation in work activities 
and occupational structures. Manufacturing and sales, for example, make up a large part of private 
industry work activities but are rare in state and local government. Professional and administrative 
support occupations (including teachers) account for two-thirds of the state and local government 
workforce, compared with one-half of private industry.

Introduction of 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC)

Beginning in December 2013, Employer Costs for Employee Compensation estimates are based on 2010 
SOC.  No substantive changes occurred in occupational coverage for about 90 percent of the detailed 
occupations in the 2010 SOC.  However the detailed occupation Registered Nurses, for which data are 
shown separately in this release, did undergo classification changes.  For information about this and 
other changes see www.bls.gov/soc.

ECEC quarterly publication focus

ECEC news releases are published quarterly, providing civilian, private industry, and state and local 
government cost per hour estimates as well as additional detail on a specific compensation cost topic of 
interest. This quarter focuses on retirement and savings costs in private industry. Topics of news releases 
for the upcoming reference periods are as follows:
           *  September 2014—Compensation costs in state and local government
           *  December 2014—Paid leave and legally required benefit costs in private industry

ECEC detailed information and measures

For detailed information on the Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, see Chapter 8, National 
Compensation Measures of the BLS Handbook of Methods at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch8.pdf. 

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Last Modified Date: September 10, 2014