According to a new report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Employment Cost Index (ECI) shows that “wages and salaries increased 3.1 percent” last year.
What this means: The ECI reflects changes to workers’ salaries and benefits. It has been over a decade since the ECI has clocked in at this high of a rate.
What they are saying: Check out what the headlines are saying regarding this exciting news:
“Wages and salaries for American workers rose more than 3 percent over the past year, the first time that threshold has been broken in more than 10 years, according to a Labor Department report Thursday.”
“The cost of labor has risen steadily over the past few years as the U.S. labor market tightened, with unemployment and layoffs falling to the lowest levels in 50 years.”
“U.S. labor costs increased steadily in the fourth quarter as employers boosted benefits for workers, leading to the largest annual increase in more than 10 years.”
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Employment Costs Rose 0.7% in the Fourth Quarter
“From a year earlier, compensation increased 2.9% in the fourth quarter, continuing an upward march. … Worker compensation is now rising at faster pace than prices.”
Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX), who is the leading Republican on the powerful Ways and Means Committee had the following to say about this important news: “Our new, pro-growth tax code is having a real impact for workers and families across the country through bigger paychecks and increased benefits at work.” Brady played a major role in leading the charge for the passage of the tax cuts that had a significant impact on job creation and the wage increases. One of the leading factors for higher wages is a high demand for employees. In the US, zero unemployment is considered at 4% or less (because of seasonal unemployment, job transitioning, etc.). The US has been at that amount or lower, almost continuously, since the tax cuts went into effect in January 2018. This has been a significant driver in higher wages.
This week Congressman Brady talked about the numerous policies changes that have improved the economy including low unemployment, GDP growth, and wage increases: