Employee compensation for private industry workers in the Boston Metropolitan Area, which includes Rhode Island, grew by 5.6 percent in the last year, nearly 1 percent above the national average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Actual wages and salaries, the largest component of the compensation category, rose 6.1 percent for the region, according to the BLS.

The numbers covered a period from March 2021 to March 2022.

Nationally, BLS said, compensation rose 4.8 percent, with wages and salaries rising 5 percent.

The BLS reports compensation figures for private industry quarterly for 15 metropolitan areas in the United States. The Boston metro area includes Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.

Compensation costs, BLS said, include wages, salaries, and employer costs for employee benefits. BLS defines wages and salaries as straight-time average hourly earnings. 

Amng the BLS regions, three are in the Northeast – Boston, Philadelphia, New York. The Philadelphia region’s compensation gains were 4.5 percent (4.7 percent wages and salaries), and New York’s compensation gains were 4 percent (4.2 percent wages and salaries).

Nationally, Boston’s compensation gains trailed only Seattle – Tacoma at 7.8 percent. Boston’s wages and salaries trailed only Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, which had wage and salary gains of 6.4 percent, but total compensation gains of 5.5 percent. Seattle-Tacoma’s wages and salaries increased by 4.5 percent.

The gains were considerable over the previous year. In March 2020 to March 2021, Boston’s compensation increased 2.9 percent (compared to 5.6 percent this year), and wages and salaries also increased 2.9 percent in March 2020 to March 2021 (compared to 6.1 percent this year).

Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal. Prosnitz began his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, moving to The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz hosts the Morning Show on WLBQ radio (Westerly), 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and It’s Your Business, also on WBLQ, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Prosnitz has twice won Best in Business Awards from the national Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), twice was named Media Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration, won an investigative reporter’s award from the New England Press Association, and newswriting award from the Rhode Island Press Association.