Compensation costs in March 2010

May 04, 2010

Compensation costs increased for both civilian workers and private industry workers in March 2010 on a 12-month, not seasonally adjusted basis. Wages and salaries make up about 70 percent of compensation costs, while benefits make up the remaining 30 percent.

Employment Cost Index, compensation costs, 12-month percent change, not seasonally adjusted, March 2009–March 2010
[Chart data]

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 1.7 percent, not seasonally adjusted, for the 12-month period ending March 2010. This was smaller than the 2.1-percent increase for the 12-month period ending in March 2009.

Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 1.6 percent for the same period, not seasonally adjusted, compared to 1.9 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2009. Employer costs for health benefits increased 4.5 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2010. In March 2009, the 12-month percent change was 4.6 percent.

These data are from the BLS Employment Cost Trends program. To learn more, see "Employment Cost Index – March 2010" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-10-0535. The Employment Cost Index (ECI) measures the change in the cost of labor, free from the influence of employment shifts among occupations and industries. Benefits costs include paid leave, supplemental pay, insurance benefits, retirement and savings, and legally required benefits. Paid leave benefit costs include employer costs for vacations, holidays, sick leave, and personal leave.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Compensation costs in March 2010 on the Internet at (visited September 30, 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.