How the Data Are Used

The data you provide helps a wide variety of users. Click through the links below to see how our data helps:

Business owners and human resource professionals

BLS data are commonly used as a guide when business owners and human resource professionals choose the provisions for their benefits. In addition, companies may use our data to remain competitive in the labor market.

To attract and retain workers, employers may provide additional benefits. These prospective benefits may be traditional or emerging. Employers can search the benefits data to evaluate benefits that employees are currently being offered nationwide.

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Jobseekers

Job-seekers can use the Employment Cost Index (ECI) and the Employee Cost for Employee Compensation (ECEC) to see how compensation compares among different occupational/industry characteristics and across regions in the United States. There are even similar applications of our data in the academic world, for both students and educators alike.

Jobseekers can use Employee Benefits Survey (EBS) data to see how benefits compare with those of other companies.

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Policymakers

"The Employment Cost Index (ECI) is indispensable to understanding America's economy. It ensures the accuracy of the statistics on employers' compensation costs that we rely on for economic policy making and successful business planning."

 - Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke

In the past, BLS benefits data were used to design defined benefit and savings and thrift plans for Federal employees. In the debate over a universal health care system, benefits data on employee premium sharing was considered in formulating proposals. Data on the amount of retirement income from employer plans has helped to frame the debate over Social Security reform. Policymakers used our benefits data when drafting the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

The Federal government as well as State and local governments useNCS products to set their pay increases. The ECI is particularly well suited as a vehicle to adjust wage rates to keep pace with what is paid by other employers for two reasons. First, it is comprehensive in that it includes not only wages and salaries but also employer costs for employee benefits, and covers nearly all employees in the civilian (non-Federal) economy. Second, it measures the "pure" change in labor costs; that is, change unaffected by employment of industries and occupations with different wage and compensation levels.  The Employee Benefits Survey (EBS) and Employee Cost for Employee Compensation (ECEC) also provide a snapshot of what benefits Americans receive, which help policy-makers make informed decisions.

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Last Modified Date: October 23, 2014