October 30, 2001
Benefit costs for State and local government workers rose 2.4 percent during the June-September 2001 period, greatly exceeding the 1.1-percent increase in the previous 3-month period. The increase in benefit costs was largely due to increases in employment costs for health insurance and retirement benefits.
Wages and salaries for State and local government workers rose 1.0 percent in the quarter ended in September, following a 1.1-percent increase the previous quarter. Increases in wages and salaries have ranged between 0.8 and 1.1 percent since December 1999.
The 12-month gain in benefit costs for September 2001 was 5.6 percent, double the gain of 2.8 percent in September 2000 and the highest yearly increase in nearly a decade. The increase in wages and salaries was 3.9 percent, compared with a gain of 3.5 percent recorded for September 2000.
These data are from the BLS Employment Cost Trends program. The 3-month changes in this article are seasonally adjusted, while the 12-months changes are not seasonally adjusted. Learn more in "Employment Cost Index—September 2001," news release USDL 01-369.