Corporate Profit Squeeze As Wages And Benefits Rise

Wages and salaries are rising at the fastest rate in 10 years. Even still, the rate is only 3% on average.  

Let's dive further into that idea with some more details.

Employment Cost Index: All Civilian, Manufacturing, Accommodations and Food Service

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Employment Cost Index Details

  1. All Civilian Wages: 3.08%
  2. All Civilian Total Benefits: 2.75%
  3. Food Service Wages: 4.36%
  4. Food Service Total Compensation: 3.89%
  5. Manufacturing Wages: 2.78%
  6. Manufacturing Total Compensation: 2.09%


  • Food service and accommodation (think fast food restaurants) are the relative leader in employments costs. Expect to pay more for less, especially if you eat at fast food places.
  • Manufacturing is a relative drag on the rising ECI.
  • The numbers above are averages. That's not the best way of looking at things. Median numbers tell a much better story but those reports lab by almost two years.
  • In all cases above, wages are rising faster than total benefits. This is likely worse than it seems.

Don't fool yourselves.

These jumps are not keeping up with inflation for those paying their own medical insurance, for those wanting to buy a house, and for those in school.

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