U.S. First Quarter Employment Cost Index Report (Text)

The following is the text from the U.S. employment cost report released by the Labor Department.

EMPLOYMENT COST INDEX - MARCH 2013

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.3 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending March 2013, essentially unchanged from the 0.4 percent increase for the December 2012 3-month period. Wages and salaries increased 0.5 percent for the current period compared to a 0.3 percent increase for the December 2012 period. Benefit costs decelerated to 0.1 percent in March 2013, down from 0.6 percent in December 2012.

Civilian Workers

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 1.8 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2013, essentially unchanged from the March 2012 increase of 1.9 percent. Wages and salaries increased 1.6 percent for the current 12-month period. In March 2012 the increase was 1.7 percent. Benefit costs increased 1.9 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2013, down from the March 2012 increase of 2.7 percent.

Benefits Data for Sales and Office Occupations Unavailable BLS has discovered an error in the benefits data for March 2013 primarily affecting private industry benefits data for sales and office occupations. As a result, benefits estimates for March 2013 have been temporarily suppressed for sales and office occupations found in tables 3 and 12 of this news release. Other benefit and compensation data may also be affected by this error. Details regarding the availability of corrected data are at www.bls.gov/bls/eci_corrections_043013.htm.

Private Industry Workers

Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 1.7 percent over the year. In March 2012 the 12-month increase was 2.1 percent. Wages and salaries increased 1.7 percent for the current 12-month period. For the 12-month period ending March 2012, the increase was 1.9 percent. The increase in the cost of benefits was 1.5 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2013, down from the March 2012 increase of 2.8 percent.

Among occupational groups, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the 12-month period ending March 2013 ranged from 1.6 percent for sales and office occupations and service occupations to 1.9 percent for natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.

Among industry supersectors, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the current 12-month period ranged from 0.9 percent for leisure and hospitality to 2.2 percent for information.

State and Local Government Workers

Compensation costs for state and local government workers increased 1.9 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2013. In March 2012 the increase was 1.5 percent. Wages and salaries increased 1.0 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2013, the same as the March 2012 change. Prior values for this series, which began in June 1982, ranged from 1.0 percent to 8.5 percent. Benefit costs increased 3.5 percent in March 2013, up from the March 2012 increase of 2.3 percent.

________________________

The Employment Cost Index for June 2013 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

This release incorporates annual revisions in seasonally adjusted Employment Cost Index (ECI) data for total compensation, wages and salaries, and benefit costs. Seasonally adjusted data for 2008-2012 were revised to reflect updated seasonal factors.

Beginning with the December 2013 news release, the Employment Cost Index will introduce new employment weights based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system and the 2012 industry North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

BLS news releases, including the ECI, are available through an e-mail subscription service at: www.bls.gov/bls/list.htm.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristy Scheuble in Washington at kmckeaney@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor for this story: Marco Babic at mbabic@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to edit or remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.