U.S. Industry Quarterly Review: Labor

October 2003
U.S. Industry Quarterly Review: Labor;2003 4th Quarter, p193
Industry Profile
Industry Overview
The article presents information on trends in labor employment and wage rates. Total compensation costs continue to grow for employers, while inflation drifts lower. The workforce in manufacturing will continue to shrink due to productivity gains and global competition. Many manufacturing jobs have been permanently lost to automation and manufacturing plants moving overseas, where wages are cheaper. The employment cost index (ECI) for private workers rose 4% year-over-year in the third quarter, after increasing 3.5% in the second quarter. The acceleration was due to gains in each of the ECI's components, namely, benefit costs and wages and salaries. This is the largest year-over-year gain in compensation since 2001. Global Insight expects wage growth to be modest over the next year due to continuing cost controls, low inflation and pressure from benefits.


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