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November 02, 2009
Compensation Costs Have Risen Slowly Over Last 12 Months

Compensation costs rose 1.2 percent in the private sector from September 2008 to 2009, the smallest percentage change since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began conducting its compensation-costs survey in 1980.

Over the 12-month period, wages and salary series increased 1.4 percent. The cost of benefits increased 1.1 percent for the 12-month period ending September 2009. Employer costs for health benefits increased 4.7 percent over the period, up from the 3.9-percent change over the previous 12-month period.

Among occupational groups, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the 12-month period ending September 2009 ranged from 0.8 percent for sales and office workers to 2.1 percent for service occupations.

Among industries, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the current 12-month period ranged from 0.7 percent for information to 2.1 percent for education and health services.

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