Total compensation costs and consumer prices both rose 2.9 percent over the year ending June 2018

October 01, 2018

Wages, salaries, and employer costs for benefits have risen, but so have prices for the goods and services we buy. From June 2017 to June 2018, employer costs for total compensation in private industry rose 2.9 percent, the same increase as the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. Wages and salaries rose 2.9 percent over that period, and employer costs for benefits rose 2.8 percent. Compensation costs often increased faster than consumer prices over the past several years, but the gap has narrowed recently. For the year ending in June 2015, for example, compensation costs rose 1.9 percent, compared with a 0.1 percent increase in consumer prices.

12-month percent change in Employment Cost Index for private industry workers and Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), not seasonally adjusted
Month Total compensation Wages and salaries Benefits CPI-U

Mar 2001

4.2% 3.8% 5.2% 2.9%

Jun 2001

4.0 3.6 4.9 3.2

Sep 2001

4.0 3.5 4.9 2.6

Dec 2001

4.1 3.8 5.2 1.6

Mar 2002

3.8 3.5 4.4 1.5

Jun 2002

4.0 3.6 4.8 1.1

Sep 2002

3.5 3.1 4.3 1.5

Dec 2002

3.1 2.6 4.2 2.4

Mar 2003

3.6 2.9 5.7 3.0

Jun 2003

3.5 2.6 5.8 2.1

Sep 2003

3.9 3.0 6.3 2.3

Dec 2003

4.0 3.1 6.5 1.9

Mar 2004

3.8 2.6 6.8 1.7

Jun 2004

3.9 2.7 7.3 3.3

Sep 2004

3.8 2.6 6.7 2.5

Dec 2004

3.8 2.6 6.7 3.3

Mar 2005

3.5 2.7 5.5 3.1

Jun 2005

3.1 2.5 4.7 2.5

Sep 2005

2.9 2.3 4.5 4.7

Dec 2005

2.9 2.5 4.0 3.4

Mar 2006

2.6 2.4 3.0 3.4

Jun 2006

2.8 2.8 2.7 4.3

Sep 2006

3.0 3.0 2.8 2.1

Dec 2006

3.2 3.2 3.1 2.5

Mar 2007

3.2 3.6 2.2 2.8

Jun 2007

3.1 3.3 2.6 2.7

Sep 2007

3.1 3.4 2.4 2.8

Dec 2007

3.0 3.3 2.4 4.1

Mar 2008

3.2 3.2 3.2 4.0

Jun 2008

3.0 3.1 2.6 5.0

Sep 2008

2.8 2.9 2.4 4.9

Dec 2008

2.4 2.6 2.0 0.1

Mar 2009

1.9 2.0 1.6 -0.4

Jun 2009

1.5 1.6 1.3 -1.4

Sep 2009

1.2 1.4 1.1 -1.3

Dec 2009

1.2 1.3 0.9 2.7

Mar 2010

1.6 1.5 2.0 2.3

Jun 2010

1.9 1.6 2.4 1.1

Sep 2010

2.0 1.6 2.8 1.1

Dec 2010

2.1 1.8 2.9 1.5

Mar 2011

2.0 1.6 3.0 2.7

Jun 2011

2.3 1.7 4.0 3.6

Sep 2011

2.1 1.7 3.3 3.9

Dec 2011

2.2 1.6 3.6 3.0

Mar 2012

2.1 1.9 2.8 2.7

Jun 2012

1.8 1.8 1.9 1.7

Sep 2012

1.9 1.8 2.2 2.0

Dec 2012

1.8 1.7 2.0 1.7

Mar 2013

1.9 1.7 2.0 1.5

Jun 2013

1.9 1.9 1.9 1.8

Sep 2013

1.9 1.8 2.0 1.2

Dec 2013

2.0 2.1 1.9 1.5

Mar 2014

1.7 1.7 1.8 1.5

Jun 2014

2.0 1.9 2.4 2.1

Sep 2014

2.3 2.3 2.3 1.7

Dec 2014

2.3 2.2 2.5 0.8

Mar 2015

2.8 2.8 2.6 -0.1

Jun 2015

1.9 2.2 1.4 0.1

Sep 2015

1.9 2.1 1.4 0.0

Dec 2015

1.9 2.1 1.3 0.7

Mar 2016

1.8 2.0 1.2 0.9

Jun 2016

2.4 2.6 1.7 1.0

Sep 2016

2.3 2.4 1.8 1.5

Dec 2016

2.2 2.3 1.8 2.1

Mar 2017

2.3 2.6 1.9 2.4

Jun 2017

2.4 2.4 2.2 1.6

Sep 2017

2.5 2.6 2.4 2.2

Dec 2017

2.6 2.8 2.3 2.1

Mar 2018

2.8 2.9 2.5 2.4

Jun 2018

2.9 2.9 2.8 2.9

Total compensation costs for private industry workers grew the same or nearly the same as consumer prices in all four census regions from June 2017 to June 2018. The West region experienced the fastest compensation growth and the fastest consumer price growth, 3.6 percent each.

Percent change by region in Employment Cost Index for private industry workers and Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), June 2017 to June 2018, not seasonally adjusted
Month Total compensation CPI-U

Total United States

2.9% 2.9%

Northeast

2.7 2.6

South

2.7 2.7

Midwest

2.5 2.5

West

3.6 3.6

These data are from the Employment Cost Trends program and the Consumer Price Index. To learn more about the Employment Cost Index, see our video “What Is the Employment Cost Index.” We also have more charts on the Employment Cost Index and the Consumer Price Index.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Total compensation costs and consumer prices both rose 2.9 percent over the year ending June 2018 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/total-compensation-costs-and-consumer-prices-both-rose-2-9-percent-over-the-year-ending-june-2018.htm (visited September 18, 2019).

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