An official website of the United States government
TECHNICAL NOTE Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC), a product of the National Compensation Survey, provides the average employer cost for wages and salaries as well as benefits per hour worked. The ECEC covers the civilian economy, which includes data from both private industry and state and local government. Federal government workers are excluded. Additionally, the self-employed, private household workers, and the agricultural sector are excluded from private industry. Total benefit costs consist of five major categories and include 18 benefit costs: * Paid leave - vacation, holiday, sick, and personal leave; * Supplemental pay - overtime and premium, shift differentials, and nonproduction bonuses; * Insurance - life, health, short-term and long-term disability; * Retirement and savings - defined benefit and defined contribution; and * Legally required benefits - Social Security [refers to Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program], Medicare, federal and state unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. All workers are included in the benefit cost estimates including those that do not have plan access or do not participate. Costs are also affected by other factors such as cost sharing between employers and employees, plan features, and plan generosity. For the latest information on the percentage of workers with access to and participating in employer-sponsored benefit plans, including health care and retirement and savings plans, see www.bls.gov/ebs. The National Compensation Measures provides additional details on the sample design, calculation methodology, and resources explaining changes over time, see www.bls.gov/opub/hom/ncs/home.htm. Sample size Data for this reference period were collected from a probability sample of approximately 28,100 occupational observations selected from a sample of about 7,000 private industry establishments and approximately 7,600 occupational observations selected from a sample of about 1,400 state and local government establishments that provided data at the initial interview. Beginning December 2021, an additional (fourth) private industry sample is used in estimation to mitigate the impact of decreasing response rates. Measures of reliability Relative standard errors (RSEs) provide users a tool to ascertain the quality of an estimate to ensure that it is within an acceptable range for their intended purpose. RSEs are available at www.bls.gov/web/ecec/ecec-rse.htm and the database query tool at www.bls.gov/eci/data.htm. Comparisons Compensation cost levels in state and local government should not be directly compared with levels in private industry. Differences between these sectors stem from factors such as variation in work activities and occupational structures. Classification systems The National Compensation Survey publishes estimates of compensation costs and trends as well as benefit coverage by ownership, industry group, occupational group, and geographic areas, see www.bls.gov/eci/factsheets/national-compensation-survey-classification-systems-mapping-files.htm. Additional information Additional and historical ECEC estimates are available in the ECEC database query tool at www.bls.gov/eci/data.htm and in xlsx format at www.bls.gov/eci/tables.htm. The 2023 ECEC release schedule is available at www.bls.gov/schedule/news_release/ecec.htm. Subscribe to receive the BLS Economic News Release email at public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDOLBLS/subscriber/new. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.