April 30, 2003
Compensation costs for private sector workers rose sharply, 1.4 percent from December 2002 to March 2003 (seasonally adjusted), after rising 0.7 percent in the prior quarter.
Gains in private sector compensation costs were led by large increases in durable manufacturing; finance, insurance, and real estate; and wholesale trade.
Wages and salaries in the private sector increased by 1.0 percent, after posting moderate gains in the prior two quarters. Wage gains in the finance, insurance, and real estate and wholesale trade industries led the increase.
Benefit costs for private sector workers shot up 2.4 percent for the March quarter, significantly higher than all quarterly gains since March 2000.
These data are from the BLS Compensation Cost Trends program. Compensation costs (also known as employment costs) include wages, salaries, and employer costs for employee benefits. Data are subject to revision. Learn more in "Employment Cost Index—March 2003" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 03-200.