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Economic News Release
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Technical Note


                                              TECHNICAL NOTE

     Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) measures the average cost to employers for wages
and salaries and benefits per employee hour worked.

     ECEC includes the civilian economy, which includes data from both private industry and State and
local government.  Excluded from private industry are the self-employed and farm and private household
workers.  Federal government workers are excluded from the public sector.  The private industry series
and the State and local government series provide data for the two sectors separately.

     The cost levels for this quarter were collected from a probability sample of approximately 62,500
occupations selected from a sample of about 12,800 establishments in private industry and
approximately 11,500 occupations from a sample of about 1,800 establishments in State and local
government.  Data are collected for the pay period including the 12th day of the survey months of
March, June, September, and December.

Comparing private and public sector data

     Compensation cost levels in State and local government should not be directly compared with
levels in private industry.  Differences between these sectors stem from factors such as variation
in work activities and occupational structures.  Manufacturing and sales, for example, make up a large
part of private industry work activities but are rare in State and local government.  Professional
and administrative support occupations (including teachers) account for two-thirds of the State and
local government workforce, compared with one-half of private industry.

ECEC quarterly publication focus

     ECEC news releases are published quarterly, providing civilian, private industry, and State and
local government cost per hour estimates as well as additional detail on a specific compensation cost
topic of interest.  This quarter focuses on employer compensation costs in selected metropolitan
areas and health benefit costs in private industry. Topics of news releases for the upcoming reference
periods are as follows:

     * June 2011--Retirement and savings benefit costs in private industry
     * September 2011--Compensation costs in State and local government

ECEC detailed information and measures

     For detailed information on Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, see Chapter 8,"National
Compensation Measures," of the BLS Handbook of Methods at: http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch8.pdf
and http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch8.htm.

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Last Modified Date: October 31, 2020