U.S. Employment Costs Rose 0.7% in the Fourth Quarter

Compensation for American workers grew more slowly in the fourth quarter than the third.

The employment-cost index, a measure of wages and benefits for civilian workers, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7% from October through December, the Labor Department said Thursday. The gain was slightly short of expectations of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal and was below the 0.8% increase in the third quarter.

Wages and salaries rose 0.6%, and benefit costs—which include health coverage, retirement benefits and paid leave—advanced 0.7%.

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