Worker Pay & Benefits Rose 5% in Q3

Washington, DC, October 28, 2022-Worker pay and benefits rose rapidly in Q3 from a year before, maintaining pressure on inflation, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“The employment-cost index, a measure of what employers pay for wages and benefits, rose 5% in the third quarter from the same period a year earlier, the Labor Department said Friday. That was a slightly slower pace than in the second quarter but still well above gains prior to the pandemic.

“On a quarterly basis, wages and benefits rose a seasonally-adjusted 1.2% in the third quarter from a 1.3% increase in the second quarter. The third-quarter gain matched economists’ expectations.

“Wages and benefits have been increasing rapidly since the middle of last year as employers competed for workers in a tight labor market.

“The report follows government figures released Thursday showing that the U.S. economy expanded at a solid pace in the third quarter despite climbing interest rates and signs of easing consumer and business demand.

“The labor market cooled a bit, with monthly job growth slowing, but it remained strong through the third quarter. Employers shaved down the number of job openings and took longer to fill positions as they reassessed growth prospects and future consumer demand. The unemployment rate fell in September to a level matching a half-century low, and new claims for jobless benefits, a proxy for layoffs, are hovering around 2019 average levels.”