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Economic News Release
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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-20-0720
8:30 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, April 30, 2020

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


				  EMPLOYMENT COST INDEX  March 2020

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.8 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period 
ending in March 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries increased 0.9 
percent and benefit costs increased 0.4 percent from December 2019. (See tables A, 1, 2, and 3.)

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.8 percent for the 12-month period ending in 
March 2020, and also increased 2.8 percent in March 2019. Wages and salaries increased 3.1 percent over the 
year and increased 2.9 percent for the 12-month period ending in March 2019. Benefit costs increased 
2.1 percent for the 12-month period ending in March 2020. In March 2019, the increase was 2.6 percent. 
(See tables A, 4, 8, and 12.)

Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 2.8 percent over the year. In March 2019, 
the increase was also 2.8 percent. Wages and salaries increased 3.3 percent for the 12-month period 
ending in March 2020 and increased 3.0 percent in March 2019. The cost of benefits rose 1.6 percent 
for the 12-month period ending in March 2020 and increased 2.4 percent in March 2019. 
(See tables  A, 5, 9, and 12.)

Employer costs for health benefits increased 1.5 percent for the 12-month period ending in March 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 March 2020 ranged from 2.4 percent for management, professional, and related occupations to 3.6 percent 
for service occupations. Within industry supersectors, compensation cost increases ranged from 1.1 percent 
for information to 3.6 percent for leisure and hospitality. (See table 5.)

Compensation costs for state and local government workers increased 2.8 percent for the 12-month period ending
in March 2020, compared with an increase of 3.0 percent in March 2019. Wages and salaries increased 2.7 percent 
for the 12-month period ending in March 2020 and 2.5 percent a year ago. Benefit costs increased 3.3 percent for 
the 12-month period ending in March 2020. The prior year increase was 3.6 percent. (See tables A, 7, 11, and 12.)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on March 2020 Employment Cost Index
The Employment Cost Index (ECI) reference date was March 12, 2020. Response rates for March 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
Dec.
2019
Mar.
2020
Mar.
2019
Jun.
2019
Sep.
2019
Dec.
2019
Mar.
2020

Civilian workers(1)

Compensation(2)

0.7 0.8 2.8 2.7 2.8 2.7 2.8

Wages and salaries

0.7 0.9 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.9 3.1

Benefits

0.6 0.4 2.6 2.3 2.3 2.2 2.1

Private industry

Compensation(2)

0.7 0.8 2.8 2.6 2.7 2.7 2.8

Wages and salaries

0.7 1.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.3

Benefits

0.5 0.2 2.4 1.8 2.0 1.9 1.6

State and local government

Compensation(2)

0.6 0.7 3.0 3.0 3.1 2.9 2.8

Wages and salaries

0.5 0.6 2.5 2.5 2.7 2.5 2.7

Benefits

0.8 0.9 3.6 3.6 3.5 3.3 3.3

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

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Last Modified Date: April 30, 2020