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Economic News Release
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Employment Cost Index Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                                 USDL-21-0126
8:30 a.m. (ET) Friday, January 29, 2021

Technical information: (202) 691-6199  *  ncsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ect
Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  *  pressoffice@bls.gov

				EMPLOYMENT COST INDEX  December 2020
				
Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.7 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month 
period ending in December 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries 
increased 0.9 percent and benefit costs increased 0.6 percent from September 2020. (See tables A, 
1, 2, and 3.)

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.5 percent for the 12-month period ending in 
December 2020 and increased 2.7 percent in December 2019. Wages and salaries increased 2.6 percent 
over the year and increased 2.9 percent for the 12-month period ending in December 2019. Benefit 
costs increased 2.3 percent over the year and increased 2.2 percent for the 12-month period ending in 
December 2019. (See tables A, 4, 8, and 12.)

Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 2.6 percent over the year. In December 
2019, the increase was 2.7 percent. Wages and salaries increased 2.8 percent for the 12-month 
period ending in December 2020 and increased 3.0 percent in December 2019. The cost of benefits 
increased 2.1 percent for the 12-month period ending in December 2020 and increased 1.9 percent 
in December 2019. (See tables A, 5, 9, and 12.) 

Employer costs for health benefits increased 1.9 percent for the 12-month period ending in December 
2020.(For further information see www.bls.gov/web/eci/echealth.pdf.)

Among private industry occupational groups, compensation cost increases for the 12-month period 
ending in December 2020 ranged from 2.0 percent for management, professional, and related 
occupations to 3.6 percent for service occupations. Within industry supersectors, compensation 
cost increases ranged from 2.2 percent for both other services and education and health services
to 3.4 percent for leisure and hospitality. (See table 5.)

Compensation costs for state and local government workers increased 2.3 percent for the 12-month 
period ending in December 2020, compared with an increase of 2.9 percent in December 2019. Wages 
and salaries increased 1.8 percent for the 12-month period ending in December 2020 and 2.5 percent 
a year ago. Benefit costs increased 3.1 percent for the 12-month period ending in December 2020. 
The prior year increase was 3.3 percent. (See tables A, 7, 11, and 12.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on the December 2020 Employment Cost Index
Response rates for December were comparable with prior releases and no changes in estimation 
procedures were necessary. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/bls/effects-of-
covid-19-on-workplace-injuries-and-illnesses-compensation-and-occupational-requirements.htm#ECI.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Table A. Major series of the Employment Cost Index [Percent change]
Category 3-month,
seasonally adjusted
12-month, not seasonally adjusted
Sep.
2020
Dec.
2020
Dec.
2019
Mar.
2020
Jun.
2020
Sep.
2020
Dec.
2020

Civilian workers(1)

Compensation(2)

0.5 0.7 2.7 2.8 2.7 2.4 2.5

Wages and salaries

0.4 0.9 2.9 3.1 2.9 2.5 2.6

Benefits

0.6 0.6 2.2 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.3

Private industry

Compensation(2)

0.5 0.9 2.7 2.8 2.7 2.4 2.6

Wages and salaries

0.5 0.9 3.0 3.3 2.9 2.7 2.8

Benefits

0.5 0.6 1.9 1.6 2.0 2.0 2.1

State and local government

Compensation(2)

0.4 0.5 2.9 2.8 2.7 2.3 2.3

Wages and salaries

0.1 0.5 2.5 2.7 2.6 1.8 1.8

Benefits

0.8 0.6 3.3 3.3 3.1 3.2 3.1

Footnotes
(1) Includes private industry and state and local government.
(2) Includes wages and salaries and benefits.

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Last Modified Date: January 29, 2021