The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy.
For Release: Tuesday, February 02, 2021
WESTERN INFORMATION OFFICE: San Francisco, Calif.
(415) 625-2270 BLSinfoSF@bls.gov www.bls.gov/regions/west
Changing Compensation Costs in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area – December 2020
Total compensation costs for private industry workers increased 3.8 percent in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale,
Ariz. metropolitan area for the year ended December 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that one year ago, Phoenix
experienced an annual gain of 3.3 percent in compensation costs. Locally, wages and salaries, the largest
component of compensation costs, advanced at a 4.2-percent pace for the 12-month period ended December
2020. Nationwide, total compensation costs increased 2.6 percent and wages and salaries rose 2.8 percent from
December 2019 to December 2020. (See chart 1 and table 1.)
Phoenix is 1 of 15 metropolitan areas in the United States and 1 of 4 areas in the West region of the country for
which locality compensation cost data are available. Among these 15 largest areas, over-the-year percentage
changes in the cost of total compensation ranged from 3.8 percent in Phoenix to 1.5 percent in Miami in
December 2020; for wages and salaries, Los Angeles registered the largest increase (4.5 percent) while Miami
registered the smallest (1.5 percent). (See chart 2.)
The annual increase in compensation costs in Phoenix was 3.8 percent in December 2020, compared to
changes that ranged from 3.7 to 3.1 percent in the three other metropolitan areas in the West (Los Angeles, San
Jose, and Seattle). Phoenix’s increase in wages and salaries over this 12-month period was 4.2 percent. The
other three western localities ranged from 4.5 to 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, s