In private industry, compensation costs increased 1.2 percent, the same as last quarter’s 12-month percent increase, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. These are the smallest percent changes published since the series began in 1979.
Private industry wages and salaries increased 1.4 percent for the current 12-month period, the same as the September 2009 12-month percent increase. These are also the smallest published percent changes since the series began in 1975.
In private industry, benefit costs increased 1.0 percent for the 12-month period ending December 2009. This is the smallest published percent change since the series began in 1979. In September 2009, benefits increased 1.1 percent. Employer costs for health benefits increased 4.4 percent for the 12-month period ending December 2009. In December 2008, the 12-month percent change was 3.5 percent.
This data is from the BLS Employment Cost Trends program. Compensation costs (also known as employment costs) include wages, salaries, and employer costs for employee benefits. For more information, see "Employment Cost Index—December 2009" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL 10-0100.