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U.S. Labor Costs Only Inch Up in Fourth Quarter

Wall Street Journal (01/30/15) Jeffrey Sparshott; Josh Mitchell

The employment-cost index increased a seasonally adjusted 0.6% during the fourth quarter of 2014, indicating that wages are rising slowly for most workers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The increase was in line with the forecast of economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal. Wages and salaries rose 0.5% from a pace of 0.8% in the third quarter, and benefit costs rose 0.6%, matching the previous quarter’s pace. The ECI shows that labor costs are growing slowly, despite a tightening labor market.