Employment costs (and, thus, employee compensation) were up a seasonally adjusted 0.5% for the fourth quarter of 2013, according to a Labor Department report (link opens as PDF) released today. 

After advancing 0.4% for the third quarter, these latest numbers proved slightly higher than analyst expectations of another 0.4% rise. For 2013 overall, employment costs rose 2%, compared to 1.9% in 2012. 

Employment Cost

Source: BLS.gov. 

For 2013, compensation costs for benefits increased faster than wages and salaries. Benefit costs increased 2.2% on top of 2012's 2.4% advance, while wages and salaries increased 1.9% after gaining 1.7% in 2012.

Service workers had the smallest increasein 2013, with just 1.4% compensation gains, while those with sales and office jobs saw an average 2.3% spike, the largest gain. State and local government employee compensation bumped up 1.9%.


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