Subscribe to Employee Benefits in the United States
The National Compensation Survey (NCS) is used to produce labor cost changes through the Employment Cost Index (ECI) and the average
costs per hour worked through the Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC). The NCS also provides estimates on the incidence and
provisions of benefits by the percentage of workers with access to and participating in employer-sponsored benefit plans through the Employee
Benefits in the United States. The survey covers a broad range of benefits including holidays and vacations, sick leave, health and life insurance, and retirement plans.
Benefit plan details of employer-provided health and retirement plan provisions are also available.
In some circumstances, BLS can provide estimates not available through NCS publications. When requests for unpublished data are received, they are evaluated
and processed based on resource availability and the complexity of the request. The NCS is not designed to produce estimates for individual states. All tabulations
of data are reviewed for reliability and confidentiality prior to release, which may limit the data provided. The NCS can be used to produce estimates by aggregate
occupational and industry groups, census regions and divisions, the fifteen largest combined statistical areas and metropolitan statistical areas, and by various
worker characteristics (such as work status, bargaining status, and basis of pay).
When making a data request, users should provide a detailed explanation of the scope that includes ownership (civilian, private, and state and local government),
industry group(s) or industry, occupational group(s) or occupation, worker and establishment characteristics, and reference period. This detailed explanation will expedite the
evaluation. Once we receive the request, we will evaluate it and contact you regarding an expected timeframe for tabulation, review, and clearance. All estimates
are evaluated to ensure respondent confidentiality and estimate reliability. In cases where the level of detail requested does not meet publication criteria, BLS
staff will contact you with possible alternatives including on-site microdata access. Access to restricted microdata requires a well-defined research proposal that
will be thoroughly reviewed as explained on the BLS Restricted Data Access page.
Please review the list of fulfilled requests prior to submitting a tabulation data request. To submit a request, complete the
NCS online form, enter “data request” in the subject line and indicate the scope of the request.
BLS staff evaluating the request will respond and ask for clarification, if necessary. These tabulations can take anywhere from four to eight weeks to produce, review, and
For an explanation of survey design, calculation and weighting methodology, and history of the NCS see the National Compensation Measures in the Handbook of Methods.
Examples of previously fulfilled requests are listed below, in order to demonstrate the level of detail that can be provided outside of the NCS publications.
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC)
Wages and salaries and benefit component costs ▸
Cost per employee hour worked by compensation component, March 2019
Wages and salaries
Transportation and warehousing
Finance and insurance
Real estate and rental and leasing
Professional, scientific, and technical services
Management of companies and enterprises*
Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services
Health care and social assistance
Arts, entertainment, and recreation*
Accommodation and food services
State and local government
* indicates unpublished estimates.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Compensation Survey, unpublished data.