Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Employer Costs for Employee Compensation

Technical Notes

Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC), a product of the National Compensation Survey, provides the average employer cost for wages and salaries as well as benefits per hour worked. The ECEC covers the civilian economy, which includes data from both private industry and state and local government. Federal government workers are excluded. Additionally, the self-employed, private household workers, and the agricultural sector are excluded from private industry.

Total benefit costs consist of five major categories and include 18 benefit costs:

    • Paid leave: vacation, holiday, sick, and personal leave;
    • Supplemental pay: overtime and premium, shift differentials, and nonproduction bonuses;
    • Insurance: life, health, short-term and long-term disability;
    • Retirement and savings: defined benefit and defined contribution; and
    • Legally required benefits: Social Security [refers to Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program], Medicare, federal and state unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.

All workers are included in the benefit cost estimates including those that do not have plan access or do not participate. Costs are also affected by other factors such as cost sharing between employers and employees, plan features, and plan generosity. For the latest information on the percentage of workers with access to and participating in employer-sponsored benefit plans, including health care and retirement and savings plans, see

The National Compensation Measures provides additional details on the sample design, calculation methodology, and resources explaining changes over time, see

Sample size

See the latest News Release for the current sample size.

Measures of reliability

Relative standard errors (RSEs) provide users a tool to ascertain the quality of an estimate to ensure that it is within an acceptable range for their intended purpose. RSEs are available at and the database query tool at


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.

Classification systems

The National Compensation Survey publishes estimates of compensation costs and trends as well as benefit coverage by ownership, industry group, occupational group, and geographic areas, see

Additional information

Additional and historical ECEC estimates are available in the ECEC database query tool at and in xlsx format at The 2023 ECEC release schedule is available at Subscribe to receive the BLS Economic News Release email at If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.