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Employment Cost Trends
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Employment Cost Index: Annual seasonal adjustment process

Seasonal adjustment removes the effects of events that follow a more or less regular pattern each year. Over the course of a year, such events affect the rate of wage and benefit change. For example, wage and benefit adjustments in state and local governments, especially schools, are concentrated in the June-September period. Increases in the Social Security tax rate and earnings ceiling, when they occur, take effect in the December-March period. Wage and benefit adjustments in construction typically occur in the summer when there is the most activity in the industry. Adjusting for these seasonal patterns makes it easier to observe the cyclical and other nonseasonal movements in the series.

At the beginning of each calendar year seasonal adjustment factors are calculated for use during the coming year and revisions of historical seasonally adjusted data are made for the most recent 5 years. During this process all published series are reviewed for seasonality. In some instances, series no longer exhibit seasonality and are dropped from the seasonally adjusted News Release tables and are retained in the historical tables. In other instances, series are added when they begin exhibiting identifiable seasonality and are added to the seasonally adjusted data tables along with 5 years of historical data.

Table A. Employment Cost Index changes to seasonally adjusted series, 2011-2021
Index
series_id
3-month percent
change series_id
Compensation
component
Ownership Characteristic Year Change
CIS2024120000000I CIS2024120000000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Retail trade industry 2011 Seasonal
CIS2020000300000I CIS2020000300000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Service occupations 2011 Seasonal
CIS1026230000000I CIS1026230000000Q Wages and salaries Civilian Nursing and residential care facilities industry 2012 Seasonal
CIS2014110000000I CIS2014110000000Q Total compensation Private industry Wholesale trade industry 2012 Seasonal
CIS2025220000000I CIS2025220000000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Credit intermediation and related activities industry 2013 Non-seasonal
CIS2025220000000I CIS2025220000000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Credit intermediation and related activities industry 2014 Seasonal
CIS2026230000000I CIS2026230000000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Nursing and residential care facilities industry 2015 Seasonal
CIS2020000300000I CIS2020000300000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Service occupations 2015 Non-seasonal
CIS2014110000000I CIS2014110000000Q Total compensation Private industry Wholesale trade industry 2016 Non-seasonal
CIS2020000300000I CIS2020000300000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Service occupations 2017 Seasonal
CIS2014110000000I CIS2014110000000Q Total compensation
Private industry Wholesale trade industry 2018 Seasonal
CIS2025600000000I CIS2025600000000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services industry 2018 Non-seasonal
CIS2020000110000I CIS2020000110000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Management, business, and financial occupations 2019 Non-seasonal
CIS2026220000000I CIS2026220000000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Hospitals industry 2019 Non-seasonal
CIS2026220000000I CIS2026220000000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Hospitals industry 2020 Seasonal
CIS2020000110000I CIS2020000110000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Management, business, and financial occupations 2020 Seasonal
CIS2025300000000I CIS2025300000000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Real estate and leasing industry 2020 Seasonal
CIS1026230000000I CIS1026230000000Q Wages and salaries Civilian Nursing and residential care facilities industry 2020 Non-seasonal
CIS2026230000000I CIS2026230000000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Nursing and residential care facilities industry 2020 Non-seasonal
CIS2027200000000I CIS2027200000000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Accomodation and food services industry 2020 Non-seasonal
CIS2024110000000I CIS2024110000000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Wholesale trade industry 2021 Seasonal
CIS2026230000000I CIS2026230000000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Nursing and residential care facilities industry 2021 Seasonal
CIS1026230000000I CIS1026230000000Q Wages and salaries Civilian Nursing and residential care facilities industry 2021 Seasonal
CIS2027200000000I

CIS2027200000000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Accomodation and food services industry 2021 Seasonal
CIS2020000210000I CIS2020000210000Q Wages and salaries Private industry Sales and related occupations 2021 Non-seasonal

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Cost Index.

Employment Cost Index series are seasonally adjusted using either the direct or indirect seasonal adjustment method. Indexes at comparatively low levels of aggregation, such as the construction wage index, are adjusted by the direct method; that is, dividing the index by its seasonal factor. Seasonal factors are derived using the X-13 ARIMA seasonal adjustment program developed by the U.S. Census Bureau. Most higher level aggregate indexes, such as civilian or private industry workers wages or benefits, are seasonally adjusted by the indirect method, a weighted sum of seasonally adjusted component indexes, where the weights sum to 1.0. Industry and occupational series that are seasonally adjusted by the indirect method are based on industry and occupational components, respectively.

Employment Cost Index seasonal factors and historical listing:

  • Seasonal factors for directly adjusted series (TXT) (PDF)
  • Revised seasonally adjusted series: indexes and 3-month percent changes (TXT) (PDF)
For more information, see the ECI seasonal adjustment explanation in the calculation section and seasonal adjustment articles in the more info section of the Handbook of Methods: National Compensation Measures.

 

Last Modified Date: May 3, 2021