Technical Note


Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) measures the average cost to employers for wages
and salaries and benefits per employee hour worked. The ECEC includes the civilian economy, which
includes data from both private industry and state and local government. Excluded from private industry
are the self-employed and farm and private household workers. Federal government workers are
excluded from the public sector. The private industry series and the state and local government series
provide data for the two sectors separately.

Sample size

Data for the June 2017 reference period were collected from a probability sample of approximately
27,700 occupational observations selected from a sample of about 6,700 private industry establishments
and approximately 8,100 occupational observations selected from a sample of about 1,400 state and
local government establishments that provided data at the initial interview.

ECEC benchmarking by establishment size and industry

For information on benchmarking by industry, see The Weighting Process Used in the Employer Costs
for Employee Compensation Series for the National Compensation Survey, at

Comparing private and public sector data

Compensation cost levels in state and local government should not be directly compared with levels
in private industry. Differences between these sectors stem from factors such as variation in work
activities and occupational structures. Manufacturing and sales, for example, make up a large part
of private industry work activities but are rare in state and local government. Professional and
administrative support occupations (including teachers) account for two-thirds of the state and
local government workforce, compared with one-half of private industry.

ECEC quarterly publication focus

ECEC news releases are published quarterly, providing civilian, private industry, and state and
local government cost per hour estimates as well as additional detail on a specific compensation
cost topic of interest. This quarter focuses on retirement benefit costs in private
industry. Topics of news releases for the upcoming reference periods are as follows: 
	* September 2017— Compensation costs in state and local government
	* December  2017— Supplemental pay benefits in private industry

ECEC detailed information and measures 

For detailed information on Employer Costs for Employee
Compensation, see Chapter 8,”National Compensation Measures,” of the BLS Handbook of Methods at

Employer costs for retirement and savings plans are affected by several factors, including the percentage
of employees participating in employer-sponsored plans. The National Compensation Survey produces
comprehensive estimates on the percentage of workers with access to and that participate in retirement
plans. For the latest information on retirement and savings provisions, see and

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Last Modified Date: September 08, 2017