March 10, 1999
Increases in hourly compensation—both standard and inflation-adjusted—were higher in 1998 than in 1997 in the business, nonfarm business, and manufacturing sectors of the U.S. economy. The real hourly compensation increase in nonfarm business (2.6 percent) was the largest since 1986, while the manufacturing rise (2.9 percent) was the largest since 1982.
Following three years of decline from 1993 to 1995, real hourly compensation in the business sector increased for the third consecutive year, up 2.7 percent in 1998. Business sector hourly compensation increased 4.3 percent in nominal terms, while consumer prices rose 1.6 percent.
Manufacturing sector real hourly compensation rose 2.9 percent in 1998. Real hourly compensation gains were 2.5 percent in durable goods, and 3.5 percent in nondurable goods.
These data are a product of the BLS Quarterly Labor Productivity program. Additional information is available from news release USDL 99-53, "Productivity and Costs: Revised Fourth-Quarter Measures and Annual Averages, 1998."