May 2, 2000 (The Editor’s Desk is updated each business day.)

Increases in wages and salaries and benefits, March 1999-March 2000

In nonfarm private industry, wages and salaries rose 4.2 percent for the year ended March 2000, up from a 3.3 percent increase in the year ended March 1999. In State and local government, the increase in wages and salaries was 3.8 percent, as compared with a 2.9 percent increase in March 1999.

12-month percent change in wages and salaries, Employment Cost Index, March 1995-March 2000
[Chart data—TXT]

Benefit costs for private industry workers increased 5.5 percent for the year ended in March 2000, a significant increase from 2.2 percent in March 1999. Benefit costs for State and local government workers increased 3.2 percent for the year ended in March 2000; in March 1999, the increase was 2.8 percent.

These data are from the BLS Employment Cost Trends program. Learn more in "Employment Cost Index—March 2000," news release USDL 00-120. The over-the-year changes reported in this article are based on not-seasonally-adjusted data.

Happy 10th Birthday, TED!

The very first issue of The Editor's Desk (TED) was posted on September 28, 1998. TED was the first online-only publication of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For 10 years, BLS has been committed to posting a new TED article each business day, for a total of over 2,400 articles so far.

Find out more about the story of TED