Employment Cost Index Up 2.8%, Most Since 2008

Employment costs are up 0.6% for three months ending in June and 2.8% from a year ago.

This morning the BLS released its Employment Cost Index report for June 2018.

Three Month Results

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending in June. Wages and salaries (which make up about 70 percent of compensation costs) increased 0.5 percent and benefit costs (which make up the remaining 30 percent of compensation) increased 0.9 percent.

Year-Over-Year

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.8 percent for the 12-month period ending in June 2018 compared with a compensation costs increase of 2.4 percent in June 2017. Wages and salaries increased 2.8 percent for the 12-month period ending in June 2018 and increased 2.3 percent for the 12-month period ending in June 2017. Benefit costs increased 2.9 percent for the 12-month period ending in June 2018. In June 2017, the increase was 2.5 percent.

Once again, those are averages, we do not see the distribution of those gains, undoubtedly skewed towards the top end.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (5)
No. 1-5
Realist
Realist

Those with skills will command higher wages. Those without skills, are fortunate to be employed.

Asleep
Asleep

I think the data is a little misleading. For example the government employment cost should represent the average increase due to yearly employee performance evaluation. I think many jurisdictions use the anniversary date of the employee’s hire. In theory 1/12 of the total government employees are evaluated each month. There’s should be unusual increases in July or Oct. when the new budget years begin. The cost increase is for existing employees and not necessarily for new hires. The real cost increase is 0.18%

oudaveguy98
oudaveguy98

Sure looks like raw material prices are skyrocketing as well. I'm told the cost of aluminum and concrete has gone up double digits this year in Colorado.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

These numbers dont mean much given where and what sectors the increases occurred in. Also the cost of healthcare will eat into any wage gains. Same old 6s and 7s. Economically things are caught in a triangle.

ReadyKilowatt
ReadyKilowatt

Better start printing money, no way can we have workers gaining. Looking forward to all the credit card applications in the mailbox again...