US wages, benefits rise 0.6 per cent in third quarter

WASHINGTON – Wages and benefits paid to U.S. civilian workers grew at a steady pace in the third quarter.

The Labor Department says total compensation rose 0.6 per cent from July through September, same as it did from April through June. Wages and salaries increased 0.5 per cent, benefits 0.7 per cent.

In the 12 months that ended Sept. 30, compensation increased 2.3 per cent, up from an annual gain of 2 per cent a year earlier.

Wages and salaries, which account for 70 per cent of compensation, were up 2.4 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier, and benefits rose 2.3 per cent.

But state and local workers got their biggest gain from an increase in benefits, up 3.7 per cent over the past year; their wages and salaries rose just 2 per cent, the department said Friday.