National Compensation Survey (NCS) Respondents

What Data We Collect

The National Compensation Survey (NCS) is a BLS survey that approaches employers and asks them to provide information about employee wages and benefits. Click the links below for more information.

Wage Data

A Field Economist collects wage rates in various forms (hourly, weekly, monthly, semi-monthly, bi-weekly, annual, etc.) using the closest available payroll reference date. In addition to wage rates, a Field Economist gathers information about worker experience and knowledge to assess their work level. For more detailed information, including how we collect data, please visit the NCS glossary and BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 8.

Benefit Data

Below you will find more examples on the kinds of benefits NCS collects. For these benefits, a variety of data is requested including plan details, employee and employer premiums, percent of employees participating in insurance and retirement plans, employer costs, and summary plan descriptions for health insurance and retirement plans. Here are the major benefit types we collect accompanied by brief definitions:

For more detailed definition of NCS compensation terms, please visit the NCS glossary page.

Time away from work, stated in terms of scheduled daily hours or annual weeks, during which the employee receives compensation.

Supplemental Pay

Non-wage cash payments that include:


A method of providing or purchasing protection against some or all of the economic consequence of a loss. Examples include:


Withdrawal from working life because of age, disability. Examples include:

Legally required benefits

Mandatory items that employees and/or employers are required to pay. Examples include:

Other benefits

Paid benefits beyond sick leave, vacations, and holidays. Some examples include:

Last Modified Date: June 30, 2011

Recommend this page using: