American households paid a lot more for house cleaners and movers in May, data from the Department of Labor showed Thursday.
The government calculates the price of moving, storing, and shipping expenses as a component of its index for shelter in the broader Consumer Price Index. In May, the index for the prices related to moving shot up 5.5 percent. Compared with a year ago, the moving index is up 16.2 percent.
That is by far the largest monthly and annual gain for the index in records going back to 1997. On a monthly basis, the previous record high was October 2017’s 5.1 percent rise. On average, this index rises just two-tenths of a point each month.
The government also tracks a category it calls “domestic services,” which is mostly the price of house cleaners. It excludes lawn care. Cleaning prices jumped 6.4 percent in May, doubling