Inflation Nation: Labor Costs Soaring Twice as Fast as Previously Thought

Hourly compensation soared much more than expected in the first three months of the year, even as millions of Americans remained on unemployment roles or out of the workforce, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Thursday.

Hourly compensation jumped 7.2 percent in the first quarter, according to the BLS’s revised estimate of labor costs and productivity. This had been reported as rising 5.1 percent in the first estimate.

Adjusted for inflation, hourly compensation rose 3.3 percent, more than twice the 1.3 percent originally reported.

Wage pressure was higher in manufacturing, where compensation now seen as jumping 8.9 percent nominally, compared with the 4.6 percent estimated earlier. Inflation adjusted compensation rose five percent, up from the earlier estimate of 0.9 percent.