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Employment Costs Up 0.3% for Q1

Employment costs increased a seasonally adjusted 0.3% for the first quarter of 2013, according to a Labor Department report (link opens in PDF) released today.

After rising a revised 0.4% for 2012's fourth quarter , the employment cost index remains relatively unchanged.


Wages and salaries increased 0.5% for Q1, while the report says benefit costs fell 0.1%. However, a message from the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that there may be errors in their benefits data affecting both Q4 2012 and this most recent report. Currently, it is believed that only benefit data for sales and office workers is skewed for Q1, and corrections should be completed in time for Q2's employment cost report.

Civilian worker compensation costs increased 1.8% over the last year, while private sector costs clocked in with a 1.7% bump. "Leisure and hospitality" squeaked by with a 0.9% increase, while the "information" industry dished out an additional 2.2% to employees.

In the last 12 months, employment costs for union workers are up 2.5%, compared to 1.6% for nonunion workers. Employee costs in the South saw the largest gains, with costs up 2.1%, while Midwest compensation costs lagged with a 1.3% increase.

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