Cost of Living
Data and tools
- Consumer Price Index
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
- How to Use the Consumer Price Index for Escalation
- Calculate inflation over time
Allows you to calculate what a salary in a given year would have to be today to maintain the same buying power
- Compare cost of living between cities
Lets you choose a salary level and two cities and calculates the salary needed to afford a comparable living standard
Which data should I use?
- Should I use monthly CPI figures or annual averages?
Calculating annual inflation for a specific month (for example, from December to December) gives you more recent data, but using annual averages smooths out the volatility that can occur in monthly CPI data.
- Should I use seasonally adjusted or unadjusted data?
BLS advises using unadjusted CPI data for escalation clauses
- National, regional and city CPI measures:
BLS advises using national or regional CPIs for escalator clauses instead of city-specific CPI
What is a Living Wage In My Area?
Other Economic Statistics
- Employment and Unemployment Rates and Trends
From the Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Cornell Industrial & Labor Relations Guide
Guide to statistical sources
- Moody’s economic data and forecasts
For the U.S., states and metropolitan areas, including employment growth, personal income, retail sales, CPI and more. Contact the Research Department at 202-429-1215.
Current CPI and unemployment rate
4.3% in May 2017
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 138,000 in May, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.3 percent. Job gains occurred in health care and mining.
Since their peaks in August 2008 (state) and July 2008 (local), state and local government employment remains down 267,000 jobs: 170,000 in local government and 97,000 in state government.
Next release: July 7, 2017