NE BLS Reports Change in Compensation for Metro Boston

Boston – The New England Information Office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently reported the change in compensation for the Boston Metropolitan Area in March 2016 as measured by the Employment Cost Index (ECI).  The ECI is a measure of the change in the cost of labor including change in wages and salaries and employer costs for employee benefits.  Boston is 1 of 15 metropolitan areas in the U.S., and 1 of 3 areas in the Northeast region of the country for which locality compensation cost data are available.

  • Total compensation costs for private industry workers increased 2.2 percent in the Boston area for the year ended March 2016.  In comparison, total compensation costs for private industry workers in the U.S. increased 1.8 percent over the same time period.
  • Wages and salaries, the largest component of total compensation costs, advanced 2.9 percent over the year in Boston while in the U.S. this same category rose 2.0 percent.
  • Among the 15 metropolitan areas for which changes in compensation costs are calculated, Boston was among 7 areas above the U.S. average in both total compensation growth and wages and salaries increases over the year. Growth rates in the cost of total compensation ranged from 3.3 percent in Detroit and Los Angeles to 1.0 percent in Philadelphia.
  • Among the three metropolitan areas in the Northeast, the annual increase in total compensation in Boston was above New York’s  increase of 1.6 percent and the 1.0-percent gain recorded in Philadelphia.
  • Boston’s 2.9-percent gain in wages and salaries during March 2016 was also above that in both New York and Philadelphia (2.1 and 1.0 percent, respectively).

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