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BLS U S Bureau of Labor Statistics : Changing Compensation Costs in the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Area – March 2020

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05/04/2020 | 03:19pm EDT

News Release Information

Monday, May 04, 2020

Total compensation costs for private industry workers increased 3.0 percent in the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV, metropolitan area for the year ended March 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau's regional commissioner, noted that one year ago, Washington-Baltimore experienced an annual gain of 2.6 percent in total compensation costs. Locally, wages and salaries, the largest component of total compensation costs, advanced at a 3.5-percent pace for the 12-month period ended March 2020. Nationwide, total compensation costs and wages and salaries rose 2.8 and 3.3 percent, respectively, over the year. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Washington-Baltimore is 1 of 15 metropolitan areas in the United States, and 1 of 5 areas in the South region of the country, for which locality compensation cost data are available. Washington-Baltimore's over-the-year increase of 3.0 percent in total compensation ranked 8th of the 15 published areas in March 2020. Among the other areas, percent changes in total compensation ranged from 3.7 percent in Phoenix and San Jose to 1.9 percent in Miami from March 2019 to March 2020. With an increase of 3.5 percent, Washington-Baltimore ranked 10th in wage and salary gains over the year. Growth rates in wages and salaries among the other metropolitan areas ranged from 4.4 percent in Phoenix and San Jose to 2.0 percent in Miami. (See chart 2.)

When compared with the other four metropolitan areas in the South, the annual increase in total compensation costs in Washington-Baltimore (3.0 percent) in March 2020 was above those in Dallas (2.9 percent), Houston (2.8 percent), and Miami (1.9 percent), but below that in Atlanta (3.6 percent). Washington-Baltimore's 3.5-percent gain in wages and salaries over the 12-month period was greater than Houston (2.8 percent) and Miami (2.0 percent), but below those in Atlanta (4.3 percent) and Dallas (3.7 percent). (See table 2.)

Locality compensation costs are part of the national Employment Cost Index (ECI), which measures quarterly changes in compensation costs, which include wages, salaries and employer costs for employee benefits. In addition to the 15 locality estimates provided in this release, ECI data for the nation, 4 geographical regions, and 9 geographical divisions are available. (Geographical definitions for the metropolitan areas mentioned in this release are included in the Technical Note.)

In addition to the geographic data, a comprehensive national report is available that provides data by industry, occupational group, and union status, as well as for both private, and state and local government employees. The release is available on the Internet at www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/. Current and historical information from other Bureau programs may be accessed via our regional homepage at www.bls.gov/regions/mid-atlantic.

The Employment Cost Index for June 2020 is scheduled to be released on Friday, July 31, 2020.

Technical Note

The Employment Cost Index (ECI) measures the change in the cost of labor, free from the influence of employment shifts among occupations and industries. The compensation series includes changes in wages and salaries and employer costs for employee benefits.

Wages and salaries are defined as straight-time average hourly earnings or, for workers not paid on an hourly basis, straight-time earnings divided by the corresponding hours. Straight-time wage and salary rates are total earnings before payroll deductions, excluding premium pay for overtime, work on weekends and holidays, and shift differentials. Production bonuses, incentive earnings, commission payments, and cost-of-living adjustments are included in straight-time earnings, whereas nonproduction bonuses (such as Christmas or year-end bonuses) are excluded. Also excluded are such items as payments-in-kind, free room and board, and tips.

Based on available resources and the existing ECI sample, it was determined that estimates would be published for 15 metropolitan areas. Since the ECI sample sizes by area are directly related to area employment, the areas with the largest private industry employment as of the year 2000 were selected. For each of these areas, 12-month percent changes and associated standard errors were computed for the periods since December 2006.

The metropolitan area definitions of the 15 published localities are listed below.

  • Atlanta-Athens-Clarke County-Sandy Springs, GA Combined Statistical Area (CSA) includes Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Jasper, Lamar, Madison, Meriwether, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Upson, and Walton Counties in Georgia.
  • Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT CSA includes Barnstable, Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester Counties in Massachusetts; Bristol, Kent, Newport, Providence, and Washington Counties in Rhode Island; Belknap, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, and Strafford Counties in New Hampshire; and Windham County in Connecticut.
  • Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI CSA includes Bureau, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, La Salle, McHenry, Putnam, and Will Counties in Illinois; Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, and Porter Counties in Indiana; and Kenosha County in Wisconsin.
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK CSA includes Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Grayson, Henderson, Hood, Hopkins, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, Tarrant, and Wise Counties in Texas and Bryan County in Oklahoma.
  • Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor, MI CSA includes Genesee, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties in Michigan.
  • Houston-The Woodlands, TX CSA includes Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Trinity, Walker, Waller, Wasington, and Wharton Counties in Texas.
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA CSA includes Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties in California.
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie, FL CSA includes Broward, Indian River, Martin, Miami-Dade, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Counties in Florida.
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI CSA includes Anoka, Benton, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Goodhue, Hennepin, Isanti, Le Sueur, McLeod, Mille Lacs, Ramsey, Rice, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Washington, and Wright Counties in Minnesota; and Pierce and St. Croix Counties in Wisconsin.
  • New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA CSA includes Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Ulster, and Westchester Counties in New York; Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren Counties in New Jersey; Fairfield, Litchfield, and New Haven Counties in Connecticut; and Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, and Pike Counties in Pennsylvania.
  • Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD CSA includes Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania; Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem Counties in New Jersey; Kent and New Castle Counties in Delaware; and Cecil County in Maryland.
  • Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Maricopa and Pinal Counties in Arizona.
  • San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA CSA includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma Counties in California.
  • Seattle-Tacoma, WA CSA includes Island, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, and Thurston Counties in Washington.
  • Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA CSA includes the District of Columbia; Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's, Talbot, and Washington Counties in Maryland; Franklin County in Pennsylvania; Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester Cities and Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun, Prince William, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren Counties in Virginia; and Berkley, Hampshire, and Jefferson Counties in West Virginia.

Definitions of the four geographic regions of the country are noted below.

  • Northeast: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
  • South: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  • Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
  • West: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Area Total compensation Wages and salaries
12-month percent changes for period ended- 12-month percent changes for period ended-
March June Sep. Dec. March June Sep. Dec.

United States


1.8 2.4 2.3 2.2 2.0 2.6 2.4 2.3


2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.6 2.4 2.6 2.8


2.8 2.9 2.9 3.0 2.9 2.9 3.1 3.1


2.8 2.6 2.7 2.7 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0


2.8 3.3



1.5 1.6 1.5 1.3 1.7 1.9 1.7 1.4


1.6 1.6 2.0 2.4 1.8 1.7 2.1 2.7


2.6 2.7 2.6 2.6 2.8 2.9 2.7 2.7


2.2 2.1 2.5 2.5 2.4 2.4 2.8 2.8


2.6 3.0



2.3 2.0 1.8 2.4 2.5 2.5 2.1 2.8


2.3 1.9 2.5 2.2 2.8 2.5 3.3 3.0


2.5 3.1 2.8 2.6 2.8 3.5 3.0 2.6


2.6 2.2 2.4 2.8 2.4 2.1 2.4 2.9


3.0 3.5
Area Total compensation Wages and salaries
12-month percent changes for period ended- 12-month percent changes for period ended-
Mar. 2019 Dec. 2019 Mar. 2020 Mar. 2019 Dec. 2019 Mar. 2020

United States

2.8 2.7 2.8 3.0 3.0 3.3


3.3 3.1 2.6 3.1 3.5 3.1


2.5 3.5 3.5 2.4 3.9 4.0

New York-Newark

3.9 3.8 2.5 3.5 4.0 2.9


1.9 2.3 2.3 1.9 2.5 2.9


2.2 2.5 2.6 2.4 2.8 3.0

Atlanta-Athens-Clarke County-Sandy Springs

2.3 3.1 3.6 2.5 3.8 4.3

Dallas-Fort Worth

2.8 2.6 2.9 2.9 3.4 3.7

Houston-The Woodlands

1.4 1.9 2.8 1.4 1.6 2.8

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie

2.5 2.3 1.9 2.9 2.6 2.0


2.6 2.8 3.0 2.4 2.9 3.5


2.9 2.6 3.0 3.2 2.8 3.5


2.6 2.4 3.2 2.7 2.6 3.8

Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor

1.9 2.9 2.7 1.8 3.7 3.7

Minneapolis-St. Paul

2.7 2.5 3.1 2.2 2.2 3.6


2.9 2.7 3.2 3.5 3.0 3.6

Los Angeles-Long Beach

3.5 3.4 3.5 4.5 4.0 4.1


3.1 3.3 3.7 3.1 3.7 4.4

San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland

3.0 2.6 3.7 3.3 3.2 4.4


-0.2 1.4 2.1 2.9 1.3 3.3


BLS - U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published this content on 04 May 2020 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 04 May 2020 19:18:00 UTC

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