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MNI BRIEF: US Labor Costs Increase 1.4%, Above Expectations

(MNI) Washington

The Employment Cost Index, the broadest measure of U.S. labor costs, rose 1.4% last quarter after gaining 1.0% in the October-December period, the Labor Department said on Friday, above expectations and supporting views that inflation could persist at higher levels.

The year-on-year rate increased to 4.5% from 4.0% in the previous quarter. Wages and salaries rose 1.2% after shooting up 1.0% in the fourth quarter, and were up 4.7% year-on-year. Benefits gained 1.8% after rising 0.9% in the prior quarter, and were up 4.1% over the 12-month period.

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The Employment Cost Index, the broadest measure of U.S. labor costs, rose 1.4% last quarter after gaining 1.0% in the October-December period, the Labor Department said on Friday, above expectations and supporting views that inflation could persist at higher levels.

The year-on-year rate increased to 4.5% from 4.0% in the previous quarter. Wages and salaries rose 1.2% after shooting up 1.0% in the fourth quarter, and were up 4.7% year-on-year. Benefits gained 1.8% after rising 0.9% in the prior quarter, and were up 4.1% over the 12-month period.

Keep reading...Show less