Pension & Benefits News Benefits costs increased 0.5 percent in fourth quarter 2019
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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Benefits costs increased 0.5 percent in fourth quarter 2019

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

Benefits costs for civilian workers increased 0.5 percent for the three-month period ending December 2019, according to the most recent Employment Cost Index from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In the fourth quarter 2019, benefits costs rose at a slightly lower rate than salaries, which increased 0.7 percent.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, benefits costs for private industry increased 0.5 percent. In the December 2019 period, wages and salaries increased 0.7 percent for private industry workers.

For state and local governments, benefits costs rose 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter. In the December 2019 period, wages and salaries increased 0.5 percent for state and local government workers.

December 2018 to December 2019. In the year ended December 2019, wages and salaries for civilian workers rose 2.9 percent, down from 3.1 percent in the 12-month period ending December 2018. Benefits costs rose 2.2 percent for civilian workers for the year ended December 2019, down from a 2.6 percent increase the previous year. Private industry benefits costs increased 1.9 percent, down from 2.6 percent in the year ended December 2018. Benefits costs for state and local governments increased 3.3 percent in the year ended December 2019, up from the 3.1 percent increase in the year ended December 2018.

SOURCE: BLS, Employment Cost Index—December 2019.

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