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Classification systems used by the National Compensation Survey
The National Compensation Survey (NCS) publishes estimates of compensation costs and trends, as well as benefit coverage and provisions. Estimates are available by ownership (civilian, private industry, and state and local government), industry group, occupational group, and geographic areas.
The NCS excludes workers employed by the federal government, volunteers, unpaid workers, individuals receiving long-term disability compensation, overseas workers, workers who set their own pay (e.g., proprietors, owners, major stockholders, and partners in unincorporated firms), and the self-employed. Additional exclusions by industry, occupational group, and geographic areas are indicated in the respective sections below.
The sections below provide information on the use of the classification systems and availability of estimates by industry group, occupational group, and geographic areas. NCS product sections are collapsed by default. To expand or collapse all sections use the buttons below. Individual NCS product sections can be expanded or collapsed by clicking the arrow next to the section.
Industry groups and industries
The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by federal statistical agencies to classify establishments into industries for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. economy. Prior to the implementation of NAICS, the NCS used the Standard Industry Classification (SIC) system to classify establishments. For information on the transition, see Change has come to the ECI and ECEC changes to NAICS and SOC. The NCS program adopted NAICS in 2004 for the Employer Costs for Employee Compensation and in 2006 for the Employment Cost Index. Currently, the NCS program uses NAICS 2017. There are several industry groups that are out of scope for the NCS including agriculture, forestry, farming, and hunting (sector 11), postal service (industry group 491), and private households (industry group 814).
The tables below contain the industries and industry groups published in the Employment Cost Index (ECI), Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC), and Employee Benefits in the Unites States are covered in this section. Estimates for some industries and industry groups are not available for all of the ownerships or NCS products. For example, estimates for schools (6111, 6112, and 6113) are available for state and local government workers in the ECI but are not available for ECEC and Employee Benefits in the United States.
Additionally, the tables provide the NAICS code and corresponding NCS industry code used in the mapping (text) files that accompany the public database estimates. The two-digit NAICS codes represent the sectors such as construction (sector 23) and more detailed NAICS codes represent industry groups such as credit intermediation and related activities (522) and industries elementary and secondary schools (6111). Dashes (-) indicate a span of sectors, industry groups, or industries. For example, retail trade includes store (sector 44) and nonstore (sector 45) retailers.
ECI industry groups and industries ▸
Table 1A. Published industry groups and industries in the Employment Cost Index (ECI)
Footnotes: (1) For mapping files definitions and relationships see Employment Cost Index overview. (2) Private industry only. (3) Not available for state and local government. (4) State and local government only. (5) Not available for private industry.
Footnotes: (1) For mapping files definitions and relationships see Benefits overview. (2) Not available for state and local government. (3) Private industry only. (4) Not available for private industry.
The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system is the standard used by federal statistical agencies to classify workers into occupations for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. economy. In the SOC, occupations are classified into 23 major groups; however, military specific occupations (55-0000) are out of scope for the NCS program.
The NCS is currently sampling and collecting occupational data based on SOC 2018. The ECI uses employment weights from the Occupational Employment Statistics based on SOC 2010, see Introducing 2012 weights for the Employment Cost Index. The NCS anticipates publishing estimates based on the SOC 2018 system with the December 2022 ECI release.
Footnotes: (1) For mapping files definitions and relationships see Benefits file overview. (2) Not available for state and local government. (3) Not available for private industry. (4) Available for civilian workers only.
The white collar and blue collar occupational series were discontinued in 2007. The white collar category consists of occupations (such as accountants and cashiers) with disparate wage and compensation rates. The table below provides the occupations and corresponding Major Occupational Groups (MOGs) from the SOC and OCS that composed each of the discontinued series. Many detailed occupations differ between the SOC and OCS and thus the occupational groups may not be comparable. For more information on series continuity, see Comparing Current and Former Industry and Occupation ECEC Series and Introducing 2002 weights for the Employment Cost Index.
White collar and blue collar occupational groups ▸
Table 2D. Published occupational groups within the white collar and blue collar discontinued series
Footnotes: (1) Continuous between the 2000 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) and 1990 Occupational Classification System (OCS). (2) The agricultural industry sector is out of scope for the NCS surveys. However, selected agricultural occupations found in establishments operating in other industries are classified under MOG H (H483-H498).
Currently, the NCS area definitions are based on the Office of Management and Budget Bulletin No. 13-01, dated February 28, 2013. Previous area definitions are based on Office of Management and Budget Bulletin No. 04-03, dated February 18, 2004. For more information on metropolitan area definitions, see the Census’ Metropolitan and Micropolitan page.
Table 3B. The MSAs and CSAs published in the Employment Cost Index and Employer Costs for Employee Compensation
Census region and metropolitan area
Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT CSA
New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA CSA
Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD CSA
Atlanta-Athens-Clarke County-Sandy Springs, GA CSA