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Compensation cost increased in Houston despite  Covid-19 !


Bureau of Labor Statistics

November 02, 2020

Compensation costs increased 2.2 percent in Houston according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Total compensation costs for private industry workers increased 2.2 percent in the Houston area. Consolidated Statistical Area (CSA) for the year ending in September 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Houston experienced an annual gain of 1.7 percent in compensation costs. Locally, wages and salaries, the largest component of total compensation costs, also rose at a 2.2-percent pace for the 12-month period ending in September 2020.
Nationwide, total compensation costs were up 2.4 percent, while wages and salaries rose 2.7 percent over the same period.

Houston 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 data are available. Among these 15 largest areas, over-the-year percentage changes in total compensation costs ranged from 3.6 percent in Washington to 1.5 percent in Miami in September 2020. For wages and salaries, San Jose registered the largest annual increase (4.0 percent) among the 15 areas, while Miami registered the smallest (1.6 percent).

The annual increase in total compensation costs in Houston in September 2020, at 2.2 percent, compared to gains ranging from 3.6 percent to 1.5 percent in the four other metropolitan areas in the South (Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, and Washington). Houston's 2.2-percent gain in wages and salaries over this 12-month period compared to rates ranging from 3.9 percent to 1.6 percent in the four other southern localities.

Locality compensation costs are part of the national Employment Cost Index (ECI), which measures quarterly changes in total compensation costs, including wages, salaries, and employer costs for employee benefits. In addition to the 15 local 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 Current and historical information from other Bureau programs may be accessed via our regional homepage at


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