The Employment Cost Index (ECI) for benefit costs grew by 2.6 percent from December 1997 to December 1998. Wages and salaries increased by 3.7 percent over the same period.
At the beginning of the 1990s, benefits were climbing much more quickly than wages. For example, benefit costs increased by 6.7 percent in 1990, compared to 4.3 percent for wages and salaries. But since 1995, wages and salaries have risen more rapidly than benefits each year.
Facts about the survey
These data are a product of the BLS Employment Cost Trends program. Annual changes are December to December. "Civilian workers" include those in private industry and State and local government. The ECI excludes the self-employed and farm, private household, and Federal Government employees. Find out more in Employment Cost Indexes, 1975-98 BLS Bulletin 2514. Available at the BLS website: www.bls.gov