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Apr 27 Compensation costs up 0.4% December 2011-March 2012, and 1.9% over the year ending March

 EMPLOYMENT COST INDEX - MARCH 2012

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.4 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month 
period ending March 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries 
(which make up about 70 percent of compensation costs) increased 0.5 percent, and benefits (which 
make up the remaining 30 percent of compensation) also increased 0.5 percent.

Civilian Workers

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 1.9 percent for the 12-month period ending March 
2012, essentially unchanged from the 2.0 percent increase a year earlier in March 2011. Wages and 
salaries increased 1.7 percent for the current 12-month period. In March 2011 the increase was 
1.6 percent. Benefit costs increased 2.7 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2012. In March 
2011, the increase was 3.0 percent.

Private Industry Workers

Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 2.1 percent over the year, essentially 
unchanged from the 2.0 percent increase for the previous 12-month period. Wages and salaries 
increased 1.9 percent for the current 12-month period.  The increase for the 12-month period ending 
March 2011 was 1.6 percent. The increase in the cost of benefits was 2.8 percent for the 12-month 
period ending March 2012. The March 2011 increase was 3.0 percent. Employer costs for health 
benefits increased 3.0 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2012.  In March 2011 the increase 
was 3.4 percent.

Among occupational groups, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the 
12-month period ending March 2012 ranged from 1.3 percent for service occupations to 2.6 percent for 
sales and office occupations.

Among industry supersectors, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the current 
12-month period ranged from 1.0 percent for leisure and hospitality to 3.2 percent for information.

State and Local Government Workers

Compensation costs for state and local government workers increased 1.5 percent for the 12-month 
period ending March 2012. In March 2011, the increase for the 12-month period was 1.8 percent. Values 
for this series—which began in June 1982—have ranged from 1.3 percent to 9.6 percent. Wages and 
salaries increased 1.0 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2012. A year earlier the increase 
was 1.2 percent. Prior values for this series, which also began in June 1982, ranged from 1.0 percent to 
8.5 percent. Benefit costs increased 2.3 percent in March 2012, down from the March 2011 increase of 
3.3 percent. Prior values for this series, which began in June 1990, ranged from 1.2 percent to 
8.3 percent.


________________________

The Employment Cost Index for June 2012 is scheduled to be released on 
Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request— 
Voice phone:  (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service:  (800) 877-8339.

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 2007-2011 were 
revised to reflect updated seasonal factors. 

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


__________________________________________________________________________________________

Table A.  Major series of the Employment Cost Index
(Percent change)

Category                   3-month,                        12-month,
                     seasonally adjusted             not seasonally adjusted
                         Dec.    Mar.            Mar.    June   Sep.   Dec.   Mar.
                         2011    2012            2011    2011   2011   2011   2012

   CIVILIAN 
   WORKERS[1]
Compensation[2]          0.5     0.4             2.0     2.2    2.0    2.0    1.9
Wages and salaries       0.3     0.5             1.6     1.6    1.6    1.4    1.7
Benefits                 0.7     0.5             3.0     3.6    3.2    3.2    2.7

   PRIVATE INDUSTRY

Compensation[2]          0.5     0.4             2.0     2.3    2.1    2.2    2.1
Wages and salaries       0.4     0.5             1.6     1.7    1.7    1.6    1.9
Benefits                 0.8     0.3             3.0     4.0    3.3    3.6    2.8

   STATE AND LOCAL
      GOVERNMENT

Compensation[2]          0.3     0.7             1.8     1.7    1.5    1.3    1.5
Wages and salaries       0.3     0.4             1.2     1.2    1.0    1.0    1.0
Benefits                 0.4     1.1             3.3     3.0    2.5    2.1    2.3
__________________________________________________________________________________________

[1] Includes private industry and State and local government.
[2] Includes wages and salaries and benefits.

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