Compensation Costs Experience Slight Rise From Last Quarter

April 28, 2006 ( - Total compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.6% in the December to March period - a slower rate than the period before - the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor reported Friday.

The BLS said that December to March benefit costs rose 0.5% (down from 0.9% in the previous quarter) and wages and salaries increased by 0.7% during the same period December to March period.

Compensation costs for the private sector also rose 0.6%, with compensation costs for state and local government workers rising by 0.5% — a slowing from the previous period’s 1.1% gain.

Wages and salaries of civilian workers rose 0.7% in the March quarter, unchanged from the prior quarter. Private industry workers wages and salaries increased 0.7% during the March 2006 quarter, compared with a 0.6% gain in the previous three-month period.

Wages and salaries in state and local government advanced 0.4% during the December to March period, moderating from the 1% increase in the prior quarter.

Benefits costs moved up 0.5% for civilian workers in the March quarter, slowing from the 0.9% gain in the December 2005 quarter. Private sector benefits costs rose 0.4% for the March quarter, following a 0.7% gain in the previous period.

Benefits costs for state and local government workers increased 0.7% in the March quarter, moderating from the 1.5% gain in the December quarter.

The Employment Cost Index (ECI), a component of the National Compensation Survey, measures quarterly changes in compensation costs, which include wages, salaries, and employer costs for employee benefits for civilian workers.