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April 2006, Vol. 129, No. 4
Accounting for missing data in the Employment Cost Index
The Employment Cost Index (ECI) is a measure of change in employer costs for employee compensation (wages and benefits). The index is compiled from information provided by employers and updated quarterly. Yet employers do not always provide all the information needed. When employers cannot provide the data, the missing values are imputed. Improvements in the method used to impute values were implemented in the March 2006 index, along with other changes—including the switch in industry classification from the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), and the switch from the Occupational Classification System (OCS) to the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC). The new imputation procedures incorporate some of the data available from the ongoing integration of ECI and other National Compensation Survey (NCS) products.1
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1 The National Compensation Survey (NCS) provides measures of employer costs for wages, salaries, and benefits, as well as details of employer-provided benefits. NCS continues to publish data series previously produced by the three BLS programs it replaced: (1) the Occupational Compensation Survey, (2) the Employee Benefits Survey, and (3) the Employment Cost Index. The integration of the sample selection, data collection, and processing for these programs allows for data obtained for one series to be used in compiling data for others.
Related BLS programs
National Compensation Survey -- Compensation Cost Trends
Employment Cost Index: what is it?—Sept.
Introducing new weights for the Employment Cost Index.—Jun. 1985.
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