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Employment Cost Index

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From the firm’s perspective, the cost of employing workers extends substantially beyond the wages and salaries paid to those workers. Benefits packages represent 28% of employment costs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a quarterly Employment Cost Index (ECI) measuring changes in compensation costs including wages, salaries, and employee benefits. The benefits included in the ECI are diverse: vacations, health care insurance, and pension benefits, as well as mandated benefits like employer contributions to Social Security and unemployment insurance. In addition, the ECI covers the full range of the workforce, unlike the average hourly wage rate, which applies only to production workers.


Suggested citation: "Employment Cost Index," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 99-02, pp. 12-13, 02.01.1999.

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