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Employment Costs in the U.S. Increased 0.4% in First Quarter

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (04/27/12) Alex Kowalski

Compensation costs for civilian workers increased a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in the first quarter over the previous quarter, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday. Economists projected a 0.5% gain, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. Wages and salaries, which make up about 70% of compensation costs, increased 0.5%, and benefits also rose 0.5%. Year-over-year, compensation costs were up 1.9% vs. the 2% gain in the year to March 2011, with wages and salaries up 1.7% and benefits up 2.7%.