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Employment Cost Trends
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Introducing 2021 fixed employment weights and 2018 SOC codes for the Employment Cost Index

With the January 2023 release of December 2022 data, the ECI will introduce new 2021 fixed employment weights and publish data based on the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification System.

New 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) weights

With the January 2023 release of December 2022 data, the ECI will introduce new 2021 fixed employment weights to replace the 2012 OEWS weights used between December 2013 and September 2022. The ECI weights are updated periodically to reflect the current industry and occupational employment distributions.

The primary source of the new weights for the ECI is the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) employment counts, benchmarked to the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) employment totals by industry.

New 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes

With the January 2023 release of December 2022 data, the ECI will introduce the new 2018 Standard Occupational Classification system to replace the 2010 system used from 2013 through 2022. With the 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) data release in March 2022, the OEWS fully transitioned to SOC 2018. This change allows the NCS program to begin incorporating SOC 2018 in each of its products.

Due to changes in occupation coding, some ECI series were found to be discontinuous from SOC 2010 to SOC 2018. ECI series were evaluated in two stages to determine if they were continuous. First, series were deemed comparable if at least 90 percent of the total employment found in the SOC 2010 coding was also found in SOC 2018. Any series that failed this test, were then tested to determine if:

  • the level of compensation based on the current weight is within five percent of the level of compensation based on the old weight
  • the percent change since the last reweight of the index based on the current definition does differ from the percent change of the index based on the prior definition by more than 0.2 percentage points per year on average since the last reweight
  • the 12-month percent change in the index based on the current definition must be within the 90-percent confidence interval of the 12-month change in the index under the prior definition for every quarter since the last reweight. The first comparable reference period begins one year after the base period for the last reweight

If a series failed the 90 percent overlap test, it must then pass all three of these criteria to still be considered continuous.

More Information

For more information on the classification systems used in the NCS, see Classification systems used by the National Compensation Survey. For more information on the history of weights and classification systems in the ECI, see Reweighting and Recoding in the ECI.

 

Last Modified Date: July 20, 2022