News

US employment costs up modest 0.6 per cent in first quarter

WASHINGTON – Employment costs paid to U.S. civilian workers rose at a slightly faster pace in the first three months of the year compared to the previous quarter, as wages and salaries gained steam.

The Labor Department says overall compensation was up 0.6 per cent in the first quarter compared to a 0.5 per cent rise in the final three months of 2015.

Wages and salaries, which account for 70 per cent of compensation costs, rose 0.7 per cent in the first quarter compared to a 0.5 per cent advance in the fourth quarter. Benefits costs, which cover pensions and health insurance, increased 0.5 per cent in the first quarter, down from a previous 0.6 per cent increase.

The modest first quarter advance in compensation showed inflation pressures remain well contained.