Compensation costs in private industry up 1.9 percent from March 2008 to March 2009

May 01, 2009

In private industry, compensation costs rose 1.9 percent in the year ended March 2009, significantly less than the increase for the year ended March 2008, which was 3.2 percent.

12-month percent changes in Employment Cost Index, private industry, March 2004-March 2009
[Chart data—TXT]

Private industry wages and salaries decelerated to a 2.0-percent increase for the year ended March 2009. In March 2008, the increase in wages and salaries was 3.2 percent.

Benefit costs increased 1.6 percent for the 12-month period ended March 2009. For the year ended March 2008, the increase in benefit costs was 3.2 percent.

These data are from the BLS Employment Cost Trends program. Compensation costs (also known as employment costs) include wages, salaries, and employer costs for employee benefits. For more information, see "Employment Cost Index—March 2009" (PDF) (HTML), news release USDL 09-0456.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Compensation costs in private industry up 1.9 percent from March 2008 to March 2009 on the Internet at (visited September 25, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.