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

Following is the text of the employment cost report released by the Labor Department.


Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.7 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending June 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries (which make up about 70 percent of compensation costs) increased 0.4 percent, and benefits (which make up the remaining 30 percent of compensation) increased 1.3 percent.

Civilian Workers

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.2 percent for the 12-month period ending June 2011. A year earlier -- in June 2010 -- the increase was 1.9 percent. Wages and salaries increased 1.6 percent for the current 12-month period; the same as the June 2010 increase. Benefit costs accelerated to 3.6 percent, up from a 2.5-percent increase for the 12-month period ending June 2010

Private Industry Workers

Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 2.3 percent over the year, compared to the 1.9-percent increase for the previous 12-month period. The wage and salary series increased 1.7 percent for the current 12-month period. The change for the 12-month period ending June 2010 was 1.6 percent. The increase in the cost of benefits jumped to 4.0 percent for the 12-month period ending June 2011, higher than the June 2010 increase of 2.4 percent. Employer costs for health benefits increased 3.6 percent for the 12-month period ending June 2011. In June 2010, the 12-month percent change was 5.0 percent.

Among occupational groups, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the 12-month period ending June 2011 ranged from 1.8 percent for service occupations to 2.7 percent for production, transportation and material moving occupations.

Among industry supersectors, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the current 12-month period ranged from 1.1 percent for leisure and hospitality to 3.3 percent for manufacturing. Since September 2005, estimates for manufacturing have ranged from 1.0 percent in December 2009 to 3.2 percent in both September 2005 and December 2005.

State and Local Government Workers

Compensation costs for State and local government workers increased 1.7 percent for the 12-month period ending June 2011, which was the same as the increase for the 12-month period ending June 2010. Values for this series -- which began in June 1982 -- have ranged from 1.7 percent in both June 2010 and the current reference period to 9.6 percent in June 1982. Wages and salaries increased 1.2 percent for the 12-month period ending June 2011. A year earlier the increase was 1.3 percent. Prior values for this series, which also began in June 1982, ranged from 1.2 percent for the past four quarters to 8.5 percent in June 1982. Benefit costs increased 3.0 percent; in June 2010 the increase was 2.5. Prior values for this series, which began in June 1990, ranged from 1.2 percent in December 1997 to 8.3 percent in June 1990.


The Employment Cost Index for September 2011 is scheduled to be released on Friday, October 28, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

Some Employment Cost Index estimates from June 2009 through September 2010 were corrected on January 18, 2011. (In some of the seasonally adjusted series, corrections were made to estimates back to June 2005.) For further information, see:


The Employment Cost Index (ECI) measures the change in the cost of labor, free from the influence of employment shifts among occupations and industries. Detailed information on survey concepts, coverage, and methods can be found in BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 8, "National Compensation Measures," Bureau of Labor Statistics, on the Internet at

Sample size

Data for the June 2011 reference period were collected from a probability sample of approximately 62,100 occupational observations selected from a sample of about 12,700 establishments in private industry and approximately 11,500 occupations from a sample of about1,800 establishments in State and local governments.

Health insurance data

Data from the ECI that provide 12-month percent changes in employer costs for health insurance in private industry are available at

Historical listings

Historical listings that provide all ECI data are available at Included among these listings is one that provides continuous occupational and industry series. This listing uses the Standard Industrial Classification Manual and Census of Population series through 2005 and the North American Industry Classification System and Standard Occupational Classification from 2006 to the present. It provides the official series from the beginning of the ECI in 1975 through the current quarter. For more information on the criteria used in defining continuous series, see the article published in the Monthly Labor Review at

Employer Costs for Employee Compensation data

The costs per hour worked of compensation components, based on data from the ECI, are published in a separate news release titled "Employer Costs for Employee Compensation" (ECEC). The next ECEC release is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Thursday, September 8, 2011. Historical ECEC data are available in summary documents. Since the ECEC is calculated with current employment weights rather than the fixed weights used in computing the ECI, year-to-year changes in the cost levels usually differ from those in the ECI.

Marco Babic at

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