Compensation Costs up Slightly in 2nd Quarter

July 30, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.5%, seasonally adjusted, for the three-month period ending June 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Wages and salaries (which make up about 70% of compensation costs) increased 0.4% while benefits (which make up the remaining 30% of compensation) increased 0.6%, according to a BLS news release.  

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 1.8% for the 12-month period ending June 2010 – the same as for the 12-month period ending in June 2009. Wages and salaries increased 1.6% for the current 12-month period, compared to a 1.8% increase for the 12-month period ending in June 2009. Benefit costs rose 2.5%, up from a 1.8% increase for the 12-month period ending June 2009.  

Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 1.9% for the 12-month period ending June 2010 – higher than the 1.5% increase for the 12-month period ending June 2009. The wage and salary series increased 1.6% for the current 12-month period, the same as for the period ending June 2009. The cost of benefits increased 2.5% for the 12-month period ending June 2010, higher than the June 2009 increase of 1.3%.   

The news release said employer costs for health benefits rose 5% for the 12-month period ending June 2010. In June 2009, the 12-month percent change was 4.4%.  

Among occupational groups, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the 12-month period ending June 2010 ranged from 1.5% for management, professional, and related occupations to 2.3% for sales and office occupations. The sales and office increase was primarily due to a 2.9% increase among sales and related occupations, which rebounded from a 1.6% decrease a year earlier, BLS noted. The other component of sales and office occupations—office and administrative support—increased 2%.  

Among industry supersectors, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the current 12-month period ranged from 1% for construction to 2.6% for trade, transportation, and utilities.  

Compensation costs for State and local government workers increased 1.8% for the 12-month period ending June 2010. Wages and salaries increased 1.4%. Benefit costs increased 2.6%. 

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