April 30, 2018
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the 3-month period ended March 2018, compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.8 percent. Wages and salaries (which make up about 70 percent of compensation costs) increased 0.9 percent, and benefits (which make up the remaining 30 percent of compensation) increased 0.7 percent.
Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.7 percent for the trailing 12-months ended March 2018. For the month of March, however, compensation costs rose by 2.4 percent. As reported by the Bureau, wages and salaries increased 2.7 percent for the 12-month period ended March 2018 and increased 2.5 percent for the 12-month period ended in March 2017. Benefit costs rose 2.6 percent for the past 12-months ended March 2018.
Private Industry Workers
Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 2.8 percent over the year, much larger than the 2.3 percent increase in March 2017. Wages and salaries climbed 2.9 percent for the current 12-month period and trended upwards by 2.6 percent in March 2017. The cost of benefits were up 2.5 percent for the 12-month period ended March 2018 and increased 1.9 percent in March 2017.
Employer costs for health benefits moved up 1.5 percent for the 12-month period ended March 2018.
Among occupational groups, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the 12-month period ended March 2018 ranged from 2.6 percent for both management, professional, and related occupations and natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations to 3.3 percent for production, transportation, and material moving occupations.
Among industry super-sectors, compensation cost increases for private industry workers ranged from 2.3 percent for education and health services to 3.3 percent for financial activities.
State and Local Government
Compensation costs for state and local government workers increased 2.2 percent for March 2018. In March 2017, the increase was 2.6 percent. Wages and salaries increased 1.8 percent, compared with 2.2 percent a year ago. Benefit costs increased 3.0 percent for the 12-month period ended in March 2018. The prior year’s increase was 3.1 percent.
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