Compensation Costs Increased 4.8% Over the Year

Wages and salaries in the private sector increased 5.0 percent for the 12-month period ending in March 2022. Additionally, the cost of benefits in the private sector increased 4.1 percent during this same period. However, despite the sharp increase in compensation costs, inflation-adjusted (constant dollar) wages and salaries declined 3.3 percent for the 12 months ending March 2022 and benefit costs declined 4.0 percent over that same period.

Rising pay and benefits spending, while significantly higher than the increases from just a year ago, are still trailing the rate of inflation by a significant margin. The consumer price index rose 8.5 percent year over year in March, the highest inflation rate since 1981, the BLS reported on April 12.

DOL graphic charts

Rising pay and benefits spending, while significantly higher than the increases from just a year ago, are still trailing the rate of inflation by a significant margin. The consumer price index rose 8.5 percent year over year in March, the highest inflation rate since 1981, the BLS reported on April 12.