Related BLS programs | Related articles
August 1990, Vol. 113, No. 8
A new measure of compensation cost adjustments
During the 1980's, employers and unions significantly expanded the number of collective bargaining agreements providing lump-sum payments in lieu of permanent wage or benefit increases, and altered the longstanding pattern of wage and benefit changes. To meet this change, the Bureau, with this article, is introducing a new collective bargaining series-the cost adjustment series-to provide information on the measurable part of these phenomena in its data on collective bargaining settlements.
This article explains the need for the new measure, describes its attributes, indicates how it differs from the existing collective bargaining measure, and ends with 1989 data showing the new measure in a recent setting.
The initial program
In 1949, the Bureau of Labor Statistics initiated a program that measures the size of wage rate changes negotiated in collective bargaining settlements. In the beginning, it was limited to wage rates negotiated in selected industries. Gradually, the program was expanded and improved until it now provides data on average wage rate adjustments (the net effect of decisions to increase, decrease, or not change wage rates) in settlements covering 1,000 workers or more and average adjustments in compensation (wage rates and benefits costs) in settlements covering 5,000 workers or more. In this configuration, data go back to 1968 for private industry and to 1984 for State and local government. These data have proven useful in gauging the effect of collective bargaining settlements on wage and compensation rates for about one-half of the Nation's unionized work force.
This excerpt is from an article published in the August 1990 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
Read abstract Download full text in PDF (606K)
Within Monthly Labor Review Online:
Welcome | Current Issue | Index | Subscribe | Archives
Exit Monthly Labor Review Online:
BLS Home | Publications & Research Papers