US Employment Costs Rose 0.6% in Third Quarter

A Don Roberto Jewelers deputy goes over a poster with a pursuit seeker during during a Santa Ana, Calif., on Oct. 6.
ENLARGE

U.S. labor costs continued to grow during a assuage gait over a summer, fluctuating a new trend of stronger though still-unspectacular gains for workman compensate and advantages as a pursuit marketplace tightens.

The employment-cost index for municipal workers, a extended magnitude of salary and benefits, rose by a seasonally practiced 0.6% during a third quarter, a Labor Department pronounced Friday.

It was a third uninterrupted entertain that a sign increasing by 0.6%, relating economists’ expectations for a latest quarter.

“Although a new numbers are not really strong,” a latest information “support a perspective that a tighter labor marketplace is putting some ceiling vigour on wages,” J.P. Morgan Chase economist Daniel Silver pronounced in a note to clients.

Wages and salaries, that comment for some-more than two-thirds of remuneration expenses, rose 0.5% in a July-to-September period. Benefits were adult 0.7%.

From a year earlier, sum remuneration costs rose 2.3% in a third quarter, solid from a second quarter. Wages and salaries were adult 2.4% on a year in a third entertain and advantages rose 2.3%.

Public-sector labor costs rose some-more than did losses during private firms. Private-industry workers saw sum remuneration in a third entertain arise 0.5% from a before entertain and boost 2.3% from a year earlier. Overall remuneration for state and internal supervision workers was adult 0.9% from a open and rose 2.6% on a year.


Wage growth, stubbornly indolent for years following a 2007-09 recession, has picked adult by some metrics as a labor marketplace has tightened and employers have lifted compensate to contest for workers. At a same time, acceleration has remained subdued, with food and appetite prices descending over a past year.

In serve to rising smallest salary in several states, “we have seen an boost in salary pressures in a grill business for hourly positions and managers,” pronounced Greg Levin, arch financial officer during Huntington Beach, Calif.-based BJ’s Restaurants Inc., on a new call with analysts. Looking forward, he added, “I design to see additional ceiling vigour on hourly and government salary going into 2017.”

Still, many army can impact a gait of salary growth. Labor capability declined this spring for a third true quarter, according to a Labor Department, a worrisome trend that could curb income and mercantile enlargement in a entrance years.

The Census Bureau reported final month that inflation-adjusted median domicile income rose 5.2% in 2015 from a year earlier, a largest annual advantage in annals going behind to a late 1960s. Even so, genuine incomes remained successive their turn in 2007, before a final recession.

A Labor Department magnitude of compensate that excludes advantage expenses, normal hourly gain of private-sector workers, rose 2.6% in Sep from a year earlier, accelerating from a 2% gait seen for most of a stream mercantile expansion.

“I consider we have seen some medium pickup in salary growth. It’s using a small aloft than it was over a final dual years by a series of critical measures,” Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen pronounced in September. “My wish and expectancy is that we will see some serve pickup in salary growth, and that it will be broadly profitable to American households.”

The Fed is approaching to reason seductiveness rates unchanged during a process assembly successive week though competence lift rates during a successive assembly in December. Accelerating salary would strengthen “the box for Fed tightening if a stagnation rate looks like it will tumble some more,” High Frequency Economics arch U.S. economist Jim O’Sullivan pronounced in a note to clients.

Write to Ben Leubsdorf during ben.leubsdorf@wsj.com

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