Thursday, February 02, 2017
Total compensation costs for private industry workers increased 2.8 percent in the Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia, Wash. metropolitan area for the year ended December 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that one year ago, Seattle experienced an annual gain of 1.9 percent in compensation costs. Locally, wages and salaries, the largest component of compensation costs, advanced at a 3.7-percent pace for the 12-month period ended December 2016. Nationwide, total compensation costs increased 2.2 percent and wages and salaries rose 2.3 percent from December 2015 to December 2016. (See chart 1 and table 1.)
Seattle is 1 of 15 metropolitan areas in the United States and 1 of 4 areas in the West region of the country for which locality compensation cost data are now available. Among these 15 largest areas, over-the-year percentage changes in the cost of compensation ranged from 3.5 percent in Atlanta to 0.7 percent in Minneapolis in December 2016; for wages and salaries, Atlanta registered the largest increase (4.2 percent) while Minneapolis registered a decrease (-0.2 percent). (See chart 2.)
The annual increase in compensation costs in Seattle was 2.8 percent in December 2016, compared to advances that ranged from 3.0 to 2.6 percent in the three other metropolitan areas in the West (Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Jose). Seattle’s 3.7-percent gain in wages and salaries over this 12-month period ranked highest among the West's four metropolitan areas. The other three western localities ranged from 3.1 to 2.8 percent. (See table 2.)
Locality compensation costs are part of the national Employment Cost Index (ECI), which measures quarterly changes in compensation costs, which include wages, salaries and employer costs for employee benefits. In addition to the 15 locality estimates provided in this release, ECI data for the nation, 4 geographical regions, and 9 geographical divisions are available. (Geographical definitions for the metropolitan areas mentioned in this release are included in the Technical Note.)
In addition to the geographic data, a comprehensive national report is available that provides data by industry, occupational group, and union status, as well as for both private, and state and local government employees. The release is available on the Internet at www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/home.htm. Current and historical information from other Bureau programs may be accessed via our regional homepage at www.bls.gov/regions/west/.
The Employment Cost Index for March 2017 is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 28, 2017.
The Employment Cost Index (ECI) measures the change in the cost of labor, free from the influence of employment shifts among occupations and industries. The compensation series includes changes in wages and salaries and employer costs for employee benefits.
Wages and salaries are defined as straight-time average hourly earnings or, for workers not paid on an hourly basis, straight-time earnings divided by the corresponding hours. Straight-time wage and salary rates are total earnings before payroll deductions, excluding premium pay for overtime, work on weekends and holidays, and shift differentials. Production bonuses, incentive earnings, commission payments, and cost-of-living adjustments are included in straight-time earnings, whereas nonproduction bonuses (such as Christmas or year-end bonuses) are excluded. Also excluded are such items as payments-in-kind, free room and board, and tips.
Based on available resources and the existing ECI sample, it was determined that estimates would be published for 15 metropolitan areas. Since the ECI sample sizes by area are directly related to area employment, the areas with the largest private industry employment as of the year 2000 were selected. For each of these areas, 12-month percent changes and associated standard errors were computed for the periods since June 2006.
The metropolitan area definitions of the 15 published localities are listed below.
Definitions of the four geographic regions of the country are noted below.
Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.
|Area||Total compensation||Wages and salaries|
|12-month percent changes for period ended-||12-month percent changes for period ended-|
Last Modified Date: Thursday, February 02, 2017