While The Fed may be getting nervous, we suspect the Trump administration will be smirking quietly as Labor Department data showed total U.S. employee compensation rose in the fourth quarter to match the biggest 12-month gain since 2008, as private-sector pay picked up.
The headline index rose 0.6% q/q (matching est.) after 0.7% gain in prior three months.
Wages and salaries rose 0.5% q/q following 0.7% gain.
Benefit costs increased 0.5% q/q after rising 0.8%.
Total compensation, which includes wages and benefits, rose 2.7% over past 12 months, the highest since 2008.
As Bloomberg details, private-sector wages and salaries rose from a year earlier by 2.8 percent, also matching the best gain of this expansion. Several industry groups registered increases of 3 percent or higher, led by transportation and material moving at 3.5 percent and service occupations at 3.3 percent, underscoring demand for labor.