The first quarter’s rise was up from the 0.8% seasonally-adjusted increase notched in the previous three month period (See ECI Up 0.7% in Q4 ), according to a release of data from the US Department of Labor (DoL).
Wall Street analysts polled by CBS MarketWatch had been expecting a 0.9% rise in costs during the first quarter.
Broken out by individual components, benefits costs increased 2.4% and continued to outpace the 0.6% gain in wages and salaries for civilian workers. Overall, employer costs for benefits account for only 30% of compensation costs and include such items as health and other insurance, retirement plans, paid leave, and legally required benefits like Social Security.
The ECI is a component of the National Compensation Survey and measures changes in compensation costs, which include wages, salaries, and employer costs for employee benefits.