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Inflation and Cost-of-Living Adjustment Clauses

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Wage-rate increases among unionized employees have generally been larger in the past few years than increases among non-unionized employees. As measured by the Employment Cost Index, for example, wage rates of union workers increased 40.1 percent between September 1975 and December 1979, while nonunion wage rates rose 34.9 percent. Effective wage-rate adjustments in major collective bargaining units averaged 8.1 percent per year during the 1972-1979 period, whereas average hourly earnings in the private non-farm economy (excluding overtime in manufacturing) rose 7.6 percent per year.

Wage-rate increases among unionized employees have generally been larger in the past few years than increases among non-unionized employees. As measured by the Employment Cost Index, for example, wage rates of union workers increased 40.1 percent between September 1975 and December 1979, while nonunion wage rates rose 34.9 percent. Effective wage-rate adjustments in major collective bargaining units averaged 8.1 percent per year during the 1972-1979 period, whereas average hourly earnings in the private non-farm economy (excluding overtime in manufacturing) rose 7.6 percent per year.


Suggested citation: Sniderman, Mark S., 1980. “Inflation and Cost-of-Living Adjustment Clauses,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary, 03.24.1980.

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