Corporate Profit Squeeze as Wages and Benefits Rise


Wages and salaries are rising at the fastest rate in 10 years. Even still, the rate is only about 3% on average.

Here is the Hedgeye Tweet behind this post.

Let's dive further into McCullough's idea with some more details.

Employment Cost Index: All Civilian, Manufacturing, Accommodations and Food Service

Employment Cost Index Details

  1. All Civilian Wages: 3.08%
  2. All Civilian Total Benefits: 2.75%
  3. Food Service Wages: 4.36%
  4. Food Service Total Compensation: 3.89%
  5. Manufacturing Wages: 2.78%
  6. Manufacturing Total Compensation: 2.09%


  • Food service and accommodation (think fast food restaurants) are the relative leader in employments costs. Expect to pay more for less, especially if you eat at fast food places.
  • Manufacturing is a relative drag on the rising ECI.
  • The numbers above are averages. That's not the best way of looking at things. Median numbers tell a much better story but those reports lag by almost two years.
  • In all cases above, wages are rising faster than total benefits. This is likely worse than it seems.

Don't fool yourselves.

These jumps are not keeping up with inflation for those paying their own medical insurance, for those wanting to buy a house, and for those in school.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (4)
No. 1-4

Cry me a river. Didn't corporate profits increase (much more) because the tax cut? Look at it this way: This puts money in the hands of people who will spend it.


Yes just like any banana republic president


Less illegal immigration and less low wage legal immigration leads to higher wages for working class and lower middle class which in turn leads to smaller profit margins for companies.

If this keeps up the drop in wages in many jobs and stagnation of wages in many more jobs since 1970's that was boosted by Reagans 1986 amnesty for millions of illegals that attracted tens of millions of new illegals might be reversed in the next 10 years and USA would be a more just society and the crazy socialist ideas by AOC and rest of Democrat Socialists would have no market in the marketplace of ideas.

Global Economics