Employee compensation costs up 3.3 percent over the year | U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The latest BLS News Release showing total compensation costs for private industry workers in the Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia metropolitan area is now available online at

This data is from the Employment Cost Index, a quarterly survey which measures changes in labor costs (employee wages and employee benefits) over time.  Items of note include:

  • Total compensation costs (wages + benefits) for private industry workers increased 3.3% from September 2011 to September 2012, compared to the U.S. average of 2.0%
  • Seattle had the largest total compensation % increase of the 4 large metropolitan areas in the West (Seattle – 3.3%, San Jose – 2.6%, Los Angeles – 1.8%, Phoenix – 0.2%)
  • Local wages and salaries increased 1.9% over the year, compared to the U.S. average of 1.8%
  • Nationally, total compensation costs rose 2.0% over the year in private industry, and 1.8% in state and local government*
  • In the United States, wages and salaries averaged about 70% of total employee compensation, with benefits making up the remaining 30%*

*To view the national news release for the September 2012 Employment Cost Index visit:

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