Employers See Bigger Comp Cost Increase in 2Q06

July 28, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Total compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.9% in the second quarter of 2006, according to data from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Benefit costs between March and June rose 0.8%, compared to a 0.5% gain in the first quarter of 2006, a BLS news release said. Wages and salaries increased 0.9% during the quarter versus 0.7% in the previous quarter.

State and local government employers saw the biggest jump in compensation costs, 1.1%, from March through June compared to a 0.5% increase for the quarter ended in March. Compensation costs for the private sector rose 0.8% from March to June.

Wages and salaries of civilian workers and private industry employees rose 0.9% in the June quarter. Wages and salaries in state and local government also advanced 0.9%, following a modest increase of 0.4% in the prior quarter. Benefit costs advanced 0.8% for civilian workers in the quarter while private sector benefit costs rose 0.7%. Benefit costs for state and local government workers increased 1.5% in the June quarter.

Annual compensation costs for civilian workers increased 3.0% for the year ended June 2006, lower than the 3.2% over-the-year increase for June 2005.

Total compensation costs increased the greatest for the Education Services Sector, with a 1.3% gain, while the Financial Activities industry saw the lowest gain of 0.3%.

The BLS data is here .