Employment Cost Up 0.8%

October 31, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Employment Cost Index (ECI) increased by 0.8% during the third quarter, figures from the Department of Labor show.

The third quarter seasonally adjusted increase is lower compared to the second quarter’s increase of 1.0%.   For the year ended September 2002 the ECI is up 3.7%.

Components of the ECI also rose. Wages and salaries increased 0.5%, a slowdown compared with the 1.0% increase seen in the second quarter.   Benefits costs, such as health insurance, outpaced the gains in wages and salaries, increasing by 1.4% compared with the 1.3% increase seen in the second quarter.

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.