The Employment Cost Index (ECI) measures changes in the cost of labor to employers. Since the ECI is a fixed-employment-weighted index, it is free from the influence of employment shifts among occupations and industries.
Over the last decade, the rise of employment cost in the transportation industry was slower than in private industry as a whole and the rise of employment cost of transportation occupations was slower than the average of all workers. However, between the third quarter of 2001 and third quarter of 2002, employment cost of transportation occupations increased 4.86 percent, a slightly higher rate than the 3.66 percent for all workers. During the same period, the employment cost of transportation industry continued to increase at a rate faster than that of all workers.
|Employment Cost: Total Compensation (Index)||Q3 01||Q3 02|
|All workers (private industry)||137.84||142.88|
|All workers (private industry) percent change from same quarter previous year||4.00||3.66|
|Transportation industry (private)||131.88||136.78|
|Transportation industry (private) percent change from same quarter previous year||4.07||3.71|
|Transportation occupations (private)||134.85||141.40|
|Transportation occupations (private) percent change from same quarter previous year||3.78||4.86|
NOTES: The current value is compared to the value from the same period in the previous year to account for seasonality.
Employment cost to employers is the total compensation cost incurred by employers in obtaining labor inputs. Compensation costs include wages, salaries, and employer costs for employee benefits. Employment costs of transportation industry is the weighted average of the employment costs of all occupations working in transportation industries, including nontransportation industries. Employment costs of transportation occupations is the weighted average of the employment costs of all transportation occupations, including those working in nontransportation industries, such as truck drivers working for retail stores.
The base period of the original index is Q2 1989. The first quarter of 1992 is set to be the new reference point (=100) by dividing the values of the original index by the value of Q1 1992 in the original index. It is important to point out that this process changes only the reference point, and not the base period of the index because the weight structure of the index did not change.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Cost Trends, Public Query Data, available at http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/.