The 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 are presented in the Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) series.
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.
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Paid sick leave was available to 75 percent of private industry workers. Among industries, access to paid sick
leave ranged from 52 percent of workers in leisure and hospitality to 93 percent of workers in financial
activities and information.
Compensation costs increased 0.9 percent for civilian workers, seasonally adjusted, from December 2020 to March 2021. Over the year, total compensation rose 2.6 percent, wages and salaries rose 2.7 percent, and benefit costs rose 2.5 percent.
Employer costs for civilian workers averaged $26.84 per hour worked for wages and salaries and $12.18 for benefits in March 2021. Compensation costs were $14.10 per hour at the 10th wage percentile, $29.36 at the median, and $75.88 at the 90th percentile.
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Archived News Releases
Employment Cost Index
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC)
Employment Cost Trends
NCS Frequently Asked Questions
Other BLS Resources
Other Useful Links
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.)
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 VisitBureau of Labor Statistics
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Washington, D.C. 20212-0001
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TOTAL COMPENSATION: 3-month % change (SA)
TOTAL COMPENSATION: 12-month % change (NSA)
Total compensation: per hour worked