October 31, 2005
Measured in "constant dollars," it is estimated that annual compensation costs for private industry workers decreased 1.6 percent for the year ended September 2005, compared with a 1.2-percent over-the-year increase for September 2004.
Private-sector wages declined by 2.4 percent in constant dollars from September 2004 to September 2005; benefit costs rose 0.1 percent.
Compensation costs decreased 0.9 percent for State and local government for the year ended September 2005, compared with an over-the-year gain of 0.8 percent in September 2004.
These data are from the BLS Compensation Cost Trends program. Quarterly and annual ECI changes are computed in terms of June 1989 dollars ("constant dollars") using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), U.S. City Average All Items to give an approximate measure of changes in compensation costs after adjustment for the changes over the same time in the price of consumer goods and services. For more information, see "Employment Cost Index –September 2005" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 05-2086.