U.S. Q4 employment costs rise 0.5 percent

WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (BestGrowthStock) – Employment costs in the
United States rose 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter, Labor
Department data showed on Friday, as a recession that began
more than two years ago continues to bind worker pay and
benefits.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the Employment Cost
Index to increase 0.4 percent in the three months ending in
December 2009, after it inched up an unrevised 0.4 percent in
the prior quarter.

Wages and salaries, which make up about 70 percent of
compensation, and benefits were both up 0.5 percent, the Labor
Department said.

From December 2008 compensation costs rose only 1.5 percent,
which is the slimmest increase on records dating back to 1982
and which matched the year-on-year rise in September.

Stock Market Today

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

U.S. Q4 employment costs rise 0.5 percent