BLS: Boston-Area Compensation Costs Increase 2.7%

| August 6, 2019

Boston – Total compensation costs for private industry workers increased 2.7% in the Boston-Worcester- Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Consolidated Statistical Area (CSA) for the 12-month period ending June 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported.

Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that one year ago Boston experienced an annual gain of 1.7% in total compensation costs. Locally, wages and salaries, the largest component of total compensation costs, advanced at a 3% pace for the 12-month period ending June 2019. Nationwide, both total compensation costs and wages and salaries rose 2.6% and 3%, respectively, over the same period (See chart 1).

Boston is one of 15 metropolitan areas in the United States, and one of three areas in the Northeast region of the country, for which locality compensation cost data are available. Among these 15-largest areas, three metropolitan areas had both total compensation growth and wage and salary growth that exceeded the U.S. average from June 2018 to June 2019. Over-the-year growth rates in the cost of total compensation ranged from an increase of 3.9% in New York to a decrease of 0.4% in Seattle during June. Wage and salary annual growth rates ranged from 4.3% in Los Angeles to 1.5% in Houston.

In comparison to the other metropolitan areas in the Northeast, the annual increase in total compensation costs in Boston (2.7%) was below that of New York (3.9%) but above that of Philadelphia (1.4%). Boston’s 3% gain in wages and salaries during June 2019 was also below that in New York (3.9%) but above that of Philadelphia (1.9%).

Locality compensation costs are part of the national Employment Cost Index (ECI) which measures quarterly changes in total compensation costs, which include wages, salaries and employer costs for employee benefits.

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