Employment Costs Up 0.5% for Q4

Employment costs bumped up 0.5%, seasonally adjusted, for the last three months of 2012, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report [link opens in PDF] released today. Benefits (around 30% of total compensation) increased 0.6%, while wages and salaries (the other 70% of costs) rose 0.3%.


On a longer-term basis, compensation costs for civilian, private industry, and state and local government workers all increased 1.9% in 2012. These numbers compare to a 2% increase in 2011 for civilian workers, a 2.2% increase in 2011 for private industry workers, and a 1.3% increase in 2011 for state and local government workers.

For private industry sectors, compensation cost increases over the past 12 months ranged from a 1.1% increase in the leisure and hospitality industry to a 3.9% increase in the information sector.

In the past year, private industry union worker employment costs increased by an average of 2.2%, while nonunion total compensation bumped up approximately 1.9%. On a regional level, worker compensation in the South increased the most (+2.4%), while the West and Northeast clocked in with 1.6% increases. The Midwest notched a 1.8% increase.


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