Employment cost can be broken down into two major components, wages and salaries, and benefits. Benefit costs increased faster than wages and salaries for most industries over the last decade. Between the second quarter of 2001 and the second quarter of 2002, the average benefit costs of all workers in private industry rose 5.15 percent, while their average wage and salary rose 3.58 percent.
|All Workers (Index)||Q2 01||Q2 02|
|Benefits (private industries)||137.61||144.69|
|Benefits (private industries) percent change from same quarter previous year||4.82||5.15|
|Total compensation (private industries)||136.60||142.09|
|Total compensation (private industries) percent change from same quarter previous year||4.04||4.01|
|Wages and salaries (private industries)||136.07||140.94|
|Wages and salaries (private industries) percent change from same quarter previous year||3.78||3.58|
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/.