Compensation costs for civilian workers in the US increased 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, following a 0.8 percent advance in the previous three-month period and missing market expectations of 0.8 percent. Wages and salaries, which make up about 70 percent of compensation costs, rose 0.6 percent (vs 0.9 percent in Q3) and benefit costs, which make up the remaining 30 percent of compensation, went up 0.7 percent (vs 0.4 percent in Q3). Year-on-year, employment costs grew 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter. Employment Cost Index in the United States averaged 0.80 percent from 1982 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 1.60 percent in the third quarter of 1982 and a record low of 0.20 percent in the second quarter of 2015.
Employment Cost Index in the United States is expected to be 0.80 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Employment Cost Index in the United States to stand at 0.80 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United States Employment Cost Index QoQ is projected to trend around 0.60 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.