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-18-0637
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				  EMPLOYMENT COST INDEX – March 2018

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.8 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period 
ending in March 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 benefits (which make up the remaining 
30 percent of compensation) increased 0.7 percent. (See tables A, 1, 2, and 3.)

Civilian Workers 

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.7 percent for the 12-month period ending in March 2018 
compared with a compensation costs increase of 2.4 percent in March 2017. Wages and salaries increased 2.7 
percent for the 12-month period ending in March 2018 and increased 2.5 percent for the 12-month period 
ending in March 2017. Benefit costs increased 2.6 percent for the 12-month period ending in March 2018. In 
March 2017, the increase was 2.2 percent. (See tables A, 4, 8, and 12.)

Private Industry Workers

Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 2.8 percent over the year, a larger increase than
the 2.3-percent increase in March 2017. Wages and salaries increased 2.9 percent for the current 12-month 
period and increased 2.6 percent in March 2017. The cost of benefits rose 2.5 percent for the 12-month 
period ending in March 2018 and increased 1.9 percent in March 2017. (See tables A, 5, 
9, and 12.)

Employer costs for health benefits increased 1.5 percent for the 12-month period ending in March 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 March 2018 ranged from 2.6 percent for both management, professional, and related occupations and 
natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations to 3.3 percent for production, transportation, 
and material moving occupations. (See table 5.)

Among industry supersectors, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the 12-month period 
ending in March 2018 ranged from 2.3 percent for education and health services to 3.3 percent for financial 
activities. (See table 5.)

State and Local Government 

Compensation costs for state and local government workers increased 2.2 percent for the 12-month period 
ending in March 2018. In March 2017, the increase was 2.6 percent. Wages and salaries increased 1.8 percent 
for the 12-month period ending in March 2018, compared with 2.2 percent a year ago. Benefit costs increased 
3.0 percent for the 12-month period ending in March 2018. The prior year’s increase was 3.1 percent. (See 
tables A, 7, 11, and 12.)

Seasonal Factors and Updated Layout

The 2018 seasonal factors for directly adjusted series and revised seasonally adjusted series for the past 
five years were released today, see www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/ectsfact.htm.

With the July 31, 2018 release, the file format of tables 1-13 will be modified to improve usablity. The 
updated layout is available for review at www.bls.gov/ect/eci_table_changes_June_2018.htm.


____________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
Table A.  Major series of the Employment Cost Index
(Percent change)

Category                     3-month,                               12-month,
                       seasonally adjusted                   not seasonally adjusted
                         Dec.       Mar.           Mar.      Jun.      Sep.     Dec.     Mar.
                         2017       2018           2017      2017      2017     2017     2018
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
   CIVILIAN WORKERS[1]

Compensation[2]          0.6        0.8            2.4       2.4       2.5      2.6      2.7
Wages and salaries       0.5        0.9            2.5       2.3       2.5      2.5      2.7
Benefits                 0.5        0.7            2.2       2.5       2.4      2.5      2.6

   PRIVATE INDUSTRY

Compensation[2]          0.5        1.0            2.3       2.4       2.5      2.6      2.8
Wages and salaries       0.5        1.0            2.6       2.4       2.6      2.8      2.9
Benefits                 0.4        0.8            1.9       2.2       2.4      2.3      2.5

   STATE AND LOCAL
     GOVERNMENT

Compensation[2]          0.7        0.4            2.6       2.6       2.4      2.5      2.2
Wages and salaries       0.6        0.4            2.2       2.1       2.0      2.1      1.8
Benefits                 0.9        0.5            3.1       3.2       3.0      3.2      3.0
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

  [1] Includes private industry and state and local government.
  [2] Includes wages and salaries and benefits.
  
The Employment Cost Index for June 2018 is scheduled for release on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

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

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Last Modified Date: April 27, 2018