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Employment Costs Rise 0.7%

Wall Street Journal (04/30/15) Ben Leubsdorf; Kate Davidson

Labor costs increased in early 2015, indicating that the labor market may be tightening. The employment-cost index climbed a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in the first quarter, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast the gauge would increase 0.6%. Civilian worker wages and salaries increased 0.7% in the first quarter, up from 0.6% growth in the fourth quarter of 2014. Benefit costs climbed 0.6%, matching their growth in the fourth quarter.

Economists say that price and wage increases should accelerate as the economy recovers, the labor market tightens, and employers compete to hire from a shrinking pool of available employees.