Compensation costs up 2.9 percent, consumer prices up 2.3 percent, for year ending September 2018

November 02, 2018

Employer costs for total compensation in private industry rose 2.9 percent from September 2017 to September 2018. That compares with a 2.3-percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers over that same period. Total compensation includes wages, salaries, and benefits. Since March 2006, compensation costs increased at a faster rate than consumer prices for 34 of the 51 reference months. The gap between compensation cost and consumer price changes has narrowed since September 2015, when compensation costs rose 1.9 percent and consumer prices were unchanged over the year. In the year ending September 2016, compensation costs increased 1.5 percentage points faster than consumer prices. The September 2018 difference was 0.6 percentage point.

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

Mar 2006

2.6% 2.4% 3.0% 4.8% 3.4%

Jun 2006

2.8 2.8 2.7 5.2 4.3

Sep 2006

3.0 3.0 2.8 4.9 2.1

Dec 2006

3.2 3.2 3.1 4.9 2.5

Mar 2007

3.2 3.6 2.2 4.9 2.8

Jun 2007

3.1 3.3 2.6 4.8 2.7

Sep 2007

3.1 3.4 2.4 4.8 2.8

Dec 2007

3.0 3.3 2.4 4.8 4.1

Mar 2008

3.2 3.2 3.2 4.6 4.0

Jun 2008

3.0 3.1 2.6 4.2 5.0

Sep 2008

2.8 2.9 2.4 3.9 4.9

Dec 2008

2.4 2.6 2.0 3.5 0.1

Mar 2009

1.9 2.0 1.6 4.6 -0.4

Jun 2009

1.5 1.6 1.3 4.4 -1.4

Sep 2009

1.2 1.4 1.1 4.6 -1.3

Dec 2009

1.2 1.3 0.9 4.3 2.7

Mar 2010

1.6 1.5 2.0 4.5 2.3

Jun 2010

1.9 1.6 2.4 5.0 1.1

Sep 2010

2.0 1.6 2.8 4.8 1.1

Dec 2010

2.1 1.8 2.9 5.0 1.5

Mar 2011

2.0 1.6 3.0 3.4 2.7

Jun 2011

2.3 1.7 4.0 3.6 3.6

Sep 2011

2.1 1.7 3.3 3.4 3.9

Dec 2011

2.2 1.6 3.6 3.5 3.0

Mar 2012

2.1 1.9 2.8 3.0 2.7

Jun 2012

1.8 1.8 1.9 2.4 1.7

Sep 2012

1.9 1.8 2.2 2.3 2.0

Dec 2012

1.8 1.7 2.0 2.1 1.7

Mar 2013

1.9 1.7 2.0 3.0 1.5

Jun 2013

1.9 1.9 1.9 2.6 1.8

Sep 2013

1.9 1.8 2.0 2.7 1.2

Dec 2013

2.0 2.1 1.9 3.0 1.5

Mar 2014

1.7 1.7 1.8 2.4 1.5

Jun 2014

2.0 1.9 2.4 2.7 2.1

Sep 2014

2.3 2.3 2.3 2.6 1.7

Dec 2014

2.3 2.2 2.5 2.4 0.8

Mar 2015

2.8 2.8 2.6 2.5 -0.1

Jun 2015

1.9 2.2 1.4 2.8 0.1

Sep 2015

1.9 2.1 1.4 3.0 0.0

Dec 2015

1.9 2.1 1.3 3.0 0.7

Mar 2016

1.8 2.0 1.2 3.3 0.9

Jun 2016

2.4 2.6 1.7 2.8 1.0

Sep 2016

2.3 2.4 1.8 2.7 1.5

Dec 2016

2.2 2.3 1.8 2.7 2.1

Mar 2017

2.3 2.6 1.9 1.3 2.4

Jun 2017

2.4 2.4 2.2 1.2 1.6

Sep 2017

2.5 2.6 2.4 1.1 2.2

Dec 2017

2.6 2.8 2.3 1.1 2.1

Mar 2018

2.8 2.9 2.5 1.5 2.4

Jun 2018

2.9 2.9 2.8 1.6 2.9

Sep 2018

2.9 3.1 2.5 1.9 2.3

Wages and salaries rose 3.1 percent in private industry from September 2017 to September 2018, and employer costs for benefits rose 2.5 percent. Employer costs for health benefits rose 1.9 percent over the year.

These data are from the Employment Cost Trends program and the Consumer Price Index. To learn more, see “Employment Cost Index — September 2018” and Employment Cost Index Health Benefits. 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, Compensation costs up 2.9 percent, consumer prices up 2.3 percent, for year ending September 2018 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/compensation-costs-up-2-9-percent-consumer-prices-up-2-3-percent-for-year-ending-september-2018.htm (visited November 14, 2018).

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