Pay gains for US workers slowed in second quarter

July 31, 2018 - 5:48 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. workers saw their wages and benefits grow more slowly in the second quarter, a sign that a tight labor market has yet to accelerate income gains.

The Labor Department says overall compensation rose 0.6 percent in the April-June period, compared with a 0.8 percent rise in the first quarter.

Wages and salaries, which account for 70 percent of compensation, rose 0.5 percent, compared to a 0.9 percent gain in the first quarter. Benefits costs rose 0.9 percent, compared to 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2018. Benefits costs cover pensions and health insurance.

Wages and salaries rose 2.9 percent in June from a year earlier, a solid gain. But it was the same annual pace reached in March even though the unemployment rate has hovered near 17-year lows.

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