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Economy in Brief

U.S. Employment Cost Index Continues Moderate
by Tom Moeller  July 31, 2012

The employment cost index for private industry workers rose 0.5% in Q2'12 versus an unrevised 0.4% Q1 rise. The latest increase in total compensation matched expectations as compiled by Bloomberg. The four-quarter gain of 1.8% was diminished from its 2.3% peak one year ago.

The increase in private sector wages & salaries slipped to 0.4% (1.8% y/y). Amongst industry groups, wages in the financial industry rose 1.0% (2.1% y/y), education & health services industries rose a firm 0.4% (1.9% y/y) while professional & business services wages rose 0.5% (1.5% y/y). Wages in leisure & hospitality industries rose an improved 0.9% (1.3% y/y).

Benefit cost increases continued to loose steam and they rose just 0.6% (2.0% y/y. Benefits amongst goods-producing workers rose 0.4% (0.7% y/y) but for service-producing industry workers they rose a lessened 0.6% (2.4% y/y).

The employment cost index figures are available in Haver's USECON database.

 

ECI- Private Industry Workers (%) Q2'12 Q1'12 Q4'11 Q2 Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Compensation 0.5 0.4 0.5 1.8 2.2 1.9 1.5
 Wages & Salaries 0.4 0.5 0.4 1.8 1.7 1.6 1.5
 Benefit Costs 0.6 0.3 0.8 2.0 3.5 2.6 1.2
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