Employment Cost Index Summary

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

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                               EMPLOYMENT COST INDEX – MARCH 2017


Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.8 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month 
period ending in March 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and 
salaries (which make up about 70 percent of compensation costs) increased 0.8 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 2.4 percent for the 12-month period ending in 
March 2017. In March 2016, compensation costs increased 1.9 percent. Wages and salaries 
increased 2.5 percent for the current 12-month period and increased 2.0 percent for the 12-month 
period ending in March 2016. Benefit costs increased 2.2 percent for the 12-month period ending 
in March 2017. In March 2016, the increase was 1.7 percent. (See tables A, 4, 8, and 12.)

Private Industry Workers

Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 2.3 percent over the year. In March 2016, 
the increase was 1.8 percent. Wages and salaries increased 2.6 percent for the current 12-month 
period. In March 2016, the increase was 2.0 percent. The cost of benefits rose 1.9 percent for the 
12-month period ending in March 2017, higher than the 1.2 percent increase in March 2016. (See 
tables A, 5, 9, and 12.)

Employer costs for health benefits increased 1.3 percent for the 12-month period ending in 
March 2017. (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 2017 ranged from 2.0 percent for management, professional, and related 
occupations to 3.4 percent for service occupations. (See table 5.)

Among industry supersectors, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the current 
12-month period ranged from 1.5 percent for professional and business services to 4.3 percent for 
leisure and hospitality. (See table 5.)

State and Local Government Workers

Compensation costs for state and local government workers increased 2.6	percent for the 12-month 
period ending in March 2017. In March 2016, the increase was 2.4 percent. Wages and salaries 
increased 2.2 percent for the 12-month period ending in March 2017, higher than the March 2016 
increase of 1.8 percent. Benefit costs increased 3.1 percent for the 12-month period ending in 
March 2017. The prior year’s increase was 3.5 percent. (See tables A, 7, 11, and 12.)
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Table A.  Major series of the Employment Cost Index
(Percent change)

Category                     3-month,                               12-month,
                       seasonally adjusted                   not seasonally adjusted
                         Dec.       Mar.           Mar.     June      Sept.     Dec.     Mar.
                         2016       2017           2016     2016      2016      2016     2017
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
   CIVILIAN WORKERS[1]

Compensation[2]          0.5        0.8            1.9      2.3       2.3       2.2      2.4
Wages and salaries       0.5        0.8            2.0      2.5       2.4       2.3      2.5
Benefits                 0.5        0.7            1.7      2.0       2.3       2.1      2.2

   PRIVATE INDUSTRY

Compensation[2]          0.5        0.8            1.8      2.4       2.3       2.2      2.3
Wages and salaries       0.5        0.9            2.0      2.6       2.4       2.3      2.6
Benefits                 0.4        0.6            1.2      1.7       1.8       1.8      1.9

   STATE AND LOCAL
     GOVERNMENT

Compensation[2]          0.6        0.6            2.4      2.3       2.6       2.4      2.6
Wages and salaries       0.5        0.6            1.8      1.7       2.0       2.1      2.2
Benefits                 0.7        0.8            3.5      3.4       3.7       3.1      3.1
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

  [1] Includes private industry and state and local government.
  [2] Includes wages and salaries and benefits.


The Employment Cost Index for June 2017 is scheduled for release on
Friday, July 28, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

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Last Modified Date: April 28, 2017