National Compensation Survey - Employment Cost Trends produces quarterly indexes measuring change over time in labor costs (ECI) and quarterly data measuring level of average costs per hour worked (ECEC).

ECT News Releases

Employment Cost Index (ECI)

October 31, 2008
Total compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.7 percent, seasonally adjusted, from June to September 2008, the same as the increase in the previous two quarters. For the year ended September 2008, compensation costs rose 2.9 percent. The 12-month increase for September 2007 was 3.3 percent. More...

Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC)

December 10, 2008
Benefits for state and local government employees cost an average of $13.41 per hour worked in September 2008, $4.21 of which was for health insurance. Employer costs for civilian workers averaged $28.87 per hour worked; $20.13 for wages and salaries and $8.74 for benefits. More...

Current ECT News Releases


ECT Databases


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Pay & Cost of Benefits
Employment Cost Index
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Employer Cost for Employee Compensation
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More Tools

  • Series Report —Already know the series identifier for the statistic you want? Use this shortcut to retrieve your data.
  • Flat files (FTP)—For those who want it all. Download a flat file of the entire database or large subset of the database.
  • Compensation Cost Trends Search--allows you to search through all the Employment Cost Index and Employer Costs for Employee Compensation publications that are currently available electronically.

All ECT Databases »


ECT Tables

  • ECI Current-Dollar Historical Listings
  • ECI Constant-Dollar Historical Listings
  • ECI Health Insurance, private industry (PDF 26K)
  • ECI Selected Metropolitan Areas (PDF 31K)
  • ECI Standard Errors
  • ECEC Historical Listing, 2004 to present (Quarterly)-Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (TXT) (PDF 796K) -- Quarterly estimates from March 2004 to the present, with sample establishments classified by industry categories based on the new 2002 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and the 2000 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system.
  • ECEC Supplemental Tables Historical Data, December 2006 -- September 2008 (TXT) (PDF 386K)
  • ECEC Relative Standard Errors (TXT) (PDF 83K)
  • ECEC Relative Standard Errors -- Supplementary Tables (TXT) (PDF 61K)
  • ECEC Supplemental Tables -- Employer Costs for Employee Compensation - September 2008 (TXT) (PDF 58K) | June 2008 (TXT) (PDF 58K) |March 2008 (TXT) (PDF 151K) |December 2007 (TXT) (PDF 151K) | September 2007 (TXT) (PDF 140K) | June 2007 (TXT) (PDF 138K) | March 2007 (TXT) (PDF 60K) | December 2006 (TXT) (PDF 81K) -- supplemental tables with series for private industry workers by occupational group, establishment size, and bargaining status in 14 detailed industries.
  • ECEC Historical Listing, 2002-2003 (Quarterly)—Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (TXT) (PDF 526K) -- Quarterly estimates from March 2002 to December 2003, with sample establishments classified by industry categories based on the 1987 Standard Industry Classification (SIC) system and by occupational classifications according to the 1990 Census of Population.
  • ECEC Historical Listing, 1986-2001 (Annual)—Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (TXT) (PDF 983K) -- Annual estimates from March 1986 to March 2001, with sample establishments classified by industry categories based on the Standard Industry Classification (SIC) system and by occupational classifications according to the Census of Population.
  • Seasonal Factors and Revised Seasonally Adjusted Indexes
  • Chart—Changes in wages and salaries and benefit costs, civilian workers


Contract Escalation

The Employment Cost Index (ECI) is increasingly being used by business organizations as an escalator to adjust long-term sales and purchasing contracts, and to adjust wage rates in collective bargaining agreements. A web page explaining how to use the ECI for escalating contracts is available.


ECT Publications

All NCS Publications (including benefits, compensation costs, and wages) »


ECT Frequently Asked Questions

ECT Special Notice

  • ECI estimates for private industry for 14 individual localities (introduced last quarter) will be released for the reference period September 2008 on Thursday, November 20, 2008. For each locality, two estimates are provided: 12-month percent change for total compensation and 12-month percent change for wages and salaries. The data will be available at as well as in news releases for each area. The regional news releases providing ECI estimates for the four regions and nine census divisions have been discontinued. However, those estimates are still included in tables 6 and 10 of the "Employment Cost Index" news release. For additional information, see "BLS Introduces New Employment Cost Indexes for 14 Metropolitan Areas," at


Related Links to Other BLS Programs

  • National Compensation Survey—provides comprehensive measures of occupational earnings; compensation cost trends; and benefit incidence and detail plan provisions.
  • Wages—provides data on occupational wages for localities, broad geographic regions, and the nation..
  • Benefits—comprehensive data on incidence and provisions of selected employee benefit plans.
  • Consumer Price Indexes—provides monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services.
  • Producer Price Indexes—provides monthly data on changes in the selling prices received by domestic producers of goods and services.
  • Occupational Employment Statistics—data on employment and wages for over 800 occupations and for about 400 nonfarm industries for the nation, plus occupational data for States and metropolitan areas.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook—provides data for 250 occupations, by nature of the work, working conditions, employment, job outlook and earnings, related occupations, sources of additional information, and training, other qualifications, and advancement.

Other Useful Links


Contact Us


The Office of Compensation Levels and Trends, Branch of Survey Information and Publications, will be glad to assist you with questions about any of the components of the National Compensation Survey.

Ways to Contact BLS Directly

Email: Contact us

Telephone: (202) 691-6199 (Monday - Friday, 8:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.)

Question-by-FAX: (202) 691-6647

Information and assistance is also available from any BLS regional office.


Information voice phone: (202) 691-5200 The Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339

Write or Personal Visit

Bureau of Labor Statistics
2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E. - Suite 4175
Washington, D.C. 20212-0001

Other Ways to Access our Data:


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P.O. Box 371954
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954
(202) 512-1800