Employment Cost Index Summary

NEWS RELEASE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

TRANSMISSION OF MATERIAL IN THIS RELEASE IS EMBARGOED UNTIL                                      USDL-18-1737
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				  EMPLOYMENT COST INDEX – September 2018

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.8 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period 
ending in September 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries (which make 
up about 70 percent of compensation costs) increased 0.9 percent and benefit costs (which  make up the 
remaining 30 percent of compensation) increased 0.4 percent from June 2018. 
(See tables A, 1,  2, and 3.)

Civilian Workers 

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.8 percent for the 12-month period ending in 
September 2018 compared with a compensation costs increase of 2.5 percent in September 2017. Wages and 
salaries increased 2.9 percent for the 12-month period ending in September 2018 and increased 2.5 percent 
for the 12-month period ending in September 2017. Benefit costs increased 2.6 percent for the 12-month 
period ending in September 2018. In September 2017, the increase was 2.4 percent. 
(See tables A, 4, 8, and 12.)

Private Industry Workers

Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 2.9 percent over the year and increased 2.5 percent
in September 2017. Wages and salaries increased 3.1 percent for the 12-month period ending in September 2018 
and increased 2.6 percent in September 2017. The cost of benefits rose 2.5 percent for the 12-month period 
ending in September 2018 and increased 2.4 percent in September 2017. 
(See tables  A, 5, 9, and 12.)

Employer costs for health benefits increased 1.9 percent for the 12-month period ending in September 2018.
(For further information, see www.bls.gov/web/eci/echealth.pdf.)

Among occupational groups, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the 12-month period 
ending in September 2018 ranged from 2.5 percent for both management, professional, and related and natural 
resources, construction, and maintenance occupations to 3.5 percent for both sales and office and service 
occupations.(See table 5.)

Among industry supersectors, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the 12-month period 
ending in September 2018 ranged from 1.9 percent for manufacturing to 4.8 percent for information.
(See table 5.)


State and Local Government Workers

Compensation costs for state and local government workers increased 2.5 percent for the 12-month period ending 
in September 2018. In September 2017, the increase was 2.4 percent. Wages and salaries increased 2.3 percent 
for the 12-month period ending in September 2018, compared with 2.0 percent a year ago. Benefit costs increased 
3.1 percent for the 12-month period ending in September 2018. The prior year increase was 3.0 percent. 
(See tables A, 7, 11, and 12.)


Table A. Major series of the Employment Cost Index [Percent change]
Category 3-month,
seasonally adjusted
12-month, not seasonally adjusted
Jun.
2018
Sep.
2018
Sep.
2017
Dec.
2017
Mar.
2018
Jun.
2018
Sep.
2018

Civilian workers(1)

Compensation(2)

0.6 0.8 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.8

Wages and salaries

0.5 0.9 2.5 2.5 2.7 2.8 2.9

Benefits

0.9 0.4 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.9 2.6

Private industry

Compensation(2)

0.6 0.8 2.5 2.6 2.8 2.9 2.9

Wages and salaries

0.6 0.8 2.6 2.8 2.9 2.9 3.1

Benefits

0.8 0.4 2.4 2.3 2.5 2.8 2.5

State and local government

Compensation(2)

0.7 0.8 2.4 2.5 2.2 2.3 2.5

Wages and salaries

0.5 0.9 2.0 2.1 1.8 1.9 2.3

Benefits

0.9 0.8 3.0 3.2 3.0 3.1 3.1

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

  
The Employment Cost Index for December 2018 is scheduled for release on January 31, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request— 
Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

BLS news releases, including the Employment Cost Index, are available through an email subscription service 
at www.bls.gov/bls/list.htm.

For videos and information graphics explaining the Employment Cost Index and how it is used, 
see www.bls.gov/eci/videos.htm. 

For links to an overview of available BLS compensation measures and an interactive guide on choosing among 
them, see the BLS Commissioner’s Corner on “Making it Easier to Find Data on Pay and Benefits” at 
blogs.bls.gov/blog/2018/10/24/making-it-easier-to-find-data-on-pay-and-benefits.
 

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Last Modified Date: October 31, 2018