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National Compensation Survey
NCS NCS Program Links

What are employer costs for wages and benefits?

Employer Costs for Wages and Benefits and Changes in CostsThe Employment Cost Index (ECI) component of the National Compensation Survey (NCS) is a Principal Federal Economic Indicator that measures changes in labor costs. Average hourly costs for employee compensation are presented in the Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) series.

Who has benefits?

Who has benefits and how do benefits work?The NCS also provides benefits incidence data on the percentage of workers with access to and participating in employer provided benefit plans. The survey covers a broad range of benefits including holidays and vacations, sick leave, health and life insurance, and retirement plans. Details of employer-provided health and retirement plan provisions are also provided.


NCS News Releases

//EBS2 ZUNI3PO Test 10052021// Civilian workers' participation rate in medical care...


//EBS2 ZUNI3PO Test 10052021// Retirement and medical care benefits were available to 70 percent of civilian workers in March 2017. About two-thirds of private industry workers and 9 out of 10 state and local government workers had access to these benefits.
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//ECI Test 08302022// CJC2-Compensation costs up 0.8% Dec 2021 to Aug 2022 and up 2.7...


//ECI Test 08302022// CJC2-Compensation costs increased 0.8 percent for civilian workers, seasonally adjusted, from December 2021 to August 2022. Over the year, compensation rose 2.7 percent, wages and salaries rose 2.7 percent, and benefit costs rose 2.8 percent.
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//ECEC F5 Test 05162022// Private industry compensation costs average $38.07 per hour...


//ECEC F5 Test 05162022// Wage and salary costs for private industry workers averaged $26.86 per hour worked and benefit costs averaged $11.22 in December 2021. Supplemental pay costs were $1.32 per hour, accounting for 3.5 percent of total compensation costs.
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Regional News Releases

Subscribe to the BLS News Service — receive National Compensation Survey news releases and other major economic indicators by e-mail.

Archived News Releases


NCS Databases


Database Name Special
Tables Text Files
Modeled Wage Estimates
  Top Picks for Wage Modeling Data Finder for Wage Modeling One Screen Data Search for Wage Modeling Multi Screen Data Search for Wage Modeling   Text Files for Wage Modeling
Pay & Cost of Benefits
Employment Cost Index
  Top Picks for ECI Data Finder for ECI One Screen Data Search for ECI Multi Screen Data Search for ECI Tables for ECI Text Files for ECI
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation
  Top Picks for ECEC Data Finder for ECEC One Screen Data Search for ECEC Multi Screen Data Search for ECEC Tables for ECEC Text Files for ECEC
Benefit Incidence & Provisions
Employee Benefits Survey
(1985 to 2006)

  Top Picks for EBS   One Screen Data Search for EBS Multi Screen Data Search for EBS   Text Files for EBS
National Compensation Survey - Benefits (Beginning with
2010 data)*
  Top Picks for NCS Benefits Data Finder for NCS Benefits   Multi Screen Data Search for NCS Benefits Tables for NCS Benefits Text Files for NCS Benefits

*2007 to 2009 benefits data are not available in the National Compensation Survey data base.
For data during these years, see the NCS publication archive.


More Tools

  • Series Report — already know the series identifier for the statistic you want? Use this shortcut to retrieve your data.
  • Public data Application Programming Interface (API) — provides access to economic data from all BLS programs. For more information, see the Public Data API information and resources page.
  • National Compensation Search — allows you to search through all the National Compensation Survey publications that are currently available electronically.

All NCS Databases »


NCS Tables

Employment Cost Index

Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC)



NCS Publications and Other Documentation


NCS Frequently Asked Questions


Other BLS Resources

  • Compensation Research and Program Development Group—carries out research that addresses methodological, conceptual, and technical issues of concern to the National Compensation Survey, Occupational Requirements Survey, and the Workplace Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities Programs.
  • Guide for Evaluating Your Firm's Jobs and Pay (PDF)—explains how the Bureau determines the work level of an occupation in the National Compensation Survey.
  • Information Guide (PDF)—provides descriptions of the information and data produced by BLS, as well as descriptions of the publications in which they appear.
  • Modeled Wage Estimates—annual estimates of average hourly wages for occupations by job characteristics and within geographical location.
  • Occupational Requirements Survey—provides job-related information regarding physical demands; environmental conditions; education, training, and experience; as well as cognitive and mental requirements for jobs in the U.S. economy.
  • Work Stoppages—monthly and annual data and analysis of major work stoppages involving 1,000 or more workers.

Other Useful Links

  • Compendium of Federal Datasets Addressing Health Disparities (PDF)—is a free resource of publicly available data relevant to research and programs aiming to reduce health disparities by exploring the relationship between socioeconomic factors and the social determinants of health.
  • Employee Benefits Security Administration—provides participant and compliance assistance in the areas of retirement, health and other employee benefits.
  • Glossary—provides terms and definitions used on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' website.
  • Health Insurance Definitions (PDF)—provides terms and definitions approved by the Federal Government's Interdepartmental Committee on Employment-based Health Insurance Surveys for use in Federal surveys collecting employer-based health insurance data.
  • Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs-responsible for ensuring employers doing business with the federal government comply with the laws and regulations requiring equal employment opportunity.
  • Wage and Hour Division—responsible for enforcing federal labor laws including minimum wage and hour standards.


Contact Us


The Office of Compensation Levels and Trends, Branch of Survey Information and Publications, will be glad to assist you with questions about any of the components of the National Compensation Survey.

Ways to Contact BLS Directly

Email: Contact us

Telephone: (202) 691-6199 (Monday - Friday, 8:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.)

Information and assistance is also available from any BLS regional office.


Information voice phone: (202) 691-5200 The Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339

Write or Personal Visit

Bureau of Labor Statistics
2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E. - Suite 4160
Washington, D.C. 20212-0001

Other Ways to Access our Data:


Federal Depository Libraries provide free access to government documents. Many of these libraries receive BLS publications. Check with a location near you.


Latest Numbers



TOTAL COMPENSATION: 3-month % change (SA)

Civilian workers
1.3% in 2nd Qtr of 2022 Historical Data

Private industry workers
1.5% in 2nd Qtr of 2022 Historical Data

State and local government workers
0.8% in 2nd Qtr of 2022 Historical Data

TOTAL COMPENSATION: 12-month % change (NSA)

Civilian workers
5.1% in 2nd Qtr of 2022 Historical Data

Private industry workers
5.5% in 2nd Qtr of 2022 Historical Data

State and local government workers
3.4% in 2nd Qtr of 2022 Historical Data


Total compensation: per hour worked

Civilian workers
$40.90 in 1st Qtr of 2022 Historical Data

Private industry workers
$38.61 in 1st Qtr of 2022 Historical Data

State and local government workers
$55.47 in 1st Qtr of 2022 Historical Data


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