A BLS report out today shows Compensation Costs up 0.7% December 2014-March 2015 and 2.6% over the year ending March.

Civilian Workers

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.7 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month
period ending March 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries
(which make up about 70 percent of compensation costs) increased 0.7 percent, and benefits (which
make up the remaining 30 percent of compensation) increased 0.6 percent.

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.6 percent for the 12-month period ending
March 2015, rising from the March 2014 increase in compensation costs of 1.8 percent. Wages and
salaries increased 2.6 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2015, which was higher than the
1.6-percent increase in March 2014. Benefit costs increased 2.7 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2015, compared with a 2.1-percent increase for the 12-month period ending March 2014.

Private Industry Workers

Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 2.8 percent over the year, higher than the
March 2014 increase of 1.7 percent. Wages and salaries increased 2.8 percent for the current 12-monthperiod ending March 2015, also higher than the March 2014 increase of 1.7 percent. The cost of benefits rose 2.6 percent for the 12-month period ending March 2015, which was higher than March 2014, when the increase was 1.8 percent.

Private Industry Compensation Percent Change From Year Ago

click on chart for sharper image

Private Industry Wages Percent Change From Year Ago

Employment costs have risen. Expect an even bigger jump in upcoming months now that Walmart and McDonald’s voluntarily hiked wages, and some cities and states raised the minimum wage as well.

Extra money in people’s pockets is a good thing, but it will hurt corporate earnings and dampen enthusiasm for hiring and adding stores.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock