Technical Note


Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) measures the average cost to employers for wages
and salaries and benefits per employee hour worked.

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

Sample size

Data for the March 2017 reference period were collected from a probability sample of approximately
27,900 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 health insurance benefit costs in private
industry. Topics of news releases for the upcoming reference periods are as follows: 
	* June 2017— Retirement and savings benefit costs in private industry 
	* September 2017— Compensation costs in state and local government

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

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: June 09, 2017