Employment Cost Index Summary

NEWS RELEASE
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR    

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                               EMPLOYMENT COST INDEX – SEPTEMBER 2016


Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month 
period ending in September 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and 
salaries (which make up about 70 percent of compensation costs) increased 0.5 percent, and benefits 
(which make up the remaining 30 percent of compensation) increased 0.7 percent. (See chart 1 and 
tables A, 1, 2, and 3.)

Civilian Workers

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.3 percent for the 12-month period ending in 
September 2016. In September 2015, compensation costs increased 2.0 percent. Wages and salaries 
increased 2.4 percent for the current 12-month period, and increased 2.1 percent for the 12-month 
period ending in September 2015. Benefit costs increased 2.3 percent for the 12-month period ending 
in September 2016. In September 2015, the increase was 1.8 percent. (See chart 2 and tables A, 4, 
8, and 12.)

Private Industry Workers

Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 2.3 percent over the year, higher than the 
September 2015 increase of 1.9 percent. Wages and salaries increased 2.4 percent for the current 12-
month period. In September 2015, the increase was 2.1 percent. The cost of benefits rose 1.8 percent 
for the 12-month period ending in September 2016, and rose 1.4 percent in September 2015. (See 
charts 3 and 4 and tables A, 5, 9, and 12.) 

Employer costs for health benefits increased 2.7 percent for the 12-month period ending in September 
2016. (For further information, see www.bls.gov/web/eci/echealth.pdf.)

Among occupational groups, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the 12-month 
period ending in September 2016 ranged from 1.8 percent for management, professional, and related 
occupations to 3.2 percent for service occupations. (See table 5.)

Among industry supersectors, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the current 
12-month period ranged from 1.7 percent for professional and business services to 3.6 percent for 
leisure and hospitality. (See table 5.)

State and Local Government Workers

Compensation costs for state and local government workers increased 2.6 percent for the 12-month 
period ending in September 2016. In September 2015, the increase was 2.3 percent. Wages and salaries 
increased 2.0 percent for the 12-month period ending in September 2016. In September 2015, the 
increase was 1.8 percent. Benefit costs increased 3.7 percent for the 12-month period ending in 
September 2016, a higher rate than in the prior year when the increase was 3.0 percent. (See chart 5 
and tables A, 7, 11, and 12.)
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Table A.  Major series of the Employment Cost Index
(Percent change)

Category                     3-month,                               12-month,
                       seasonally adjusted                   not seasonally adjusted
                         June       Sept.           Sept.     Dec.      Mar.     June     Sept.
                         2016       2016            2015      2015      2016     2016     2016
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
   CIVILIAN WORKERS[1]

Compensation[2]          0.6        0.6             2.0       2.0       1.9      2.3      2.3
Wages and salaries       0.6        0.5             2.1       2.1       2.0      2.5      2.4
Benefits                 0.5        0.7             1.8       1.7       1.7      2.0      2.3

   PRIVATE INDUSTRY

Compensation[2]          0.6        0.5             1.9       1.9       1.8      2.4      2.3
Wages and salaries       0.6        0.5             2.1       2.1       2.0      2.6      2.4
Benefits                 0.4        0.5             1.4       1.3       1.2      1.7      1.8

   STATE AND LOCAL
     GOVERNMENT

Compensation[2]          0.5        0.9             2.3       2.5       2.4      2.3      2.6
Wages and salaries       0.4        0.7             1.8       1.8       1.8      1.7      2.0
Benefits                 0.6        1.2             3.0       3.5       3.5      3.4      3.7
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

  [1] Includes private industry and State and local government.
  [2] Includes wages and salaries and benefits.


The Employment Cost Index for December 2016 is scheduled for release on
Tuesday, January 31, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request—
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Last Modified Date: October 28, 2016