U.S. 4Q Employment Cost Index Up 1.0% -- Update
January 31 2023 - 09:18AM
Dow Jones News
By Gabriel T. Rubin
Worker pay and benefit gains remained elevated at the end of
last year but showed modest signs of cooling as Federal Reserve
officials meet to consider further interest rate increases.
Employers spent 5.1% more on wages and benefits in the fourth
quarter of 2022 compared with the previous year, up slightly from a
5.0% annual gain in the third quarter, the Labor Department said
Tuesday. Growth eased somewhat from the prior quarter, advancing
1%, versus a 1.2% increase in the third quarter.
The Fed has aggressively raised rates in the past year with the
aim of cooling the economy to combat inflation. Central bank
officials are starting a two-day meeting Tuesday, and have said
they were closely watching Tuesday's data.
Compensation growth is an important factor in the inflation
puzzle because it both represents a cost employers factor in when
setting prices and reflects workers' ability to pay for more
expensive goods and services.
Average hourly earnings for private-sector employers rose 4.6%
in December from a year earlier, according to the Labor
Department's latest jobs report. That was down from a recent high
annual gain of 5.6% in March 2022. Consumer prices advanced 6.5% in
December from a year earlier.
Write to Gabriel T. Rubin at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 31, 2023 09:03 ET (14:03 GMT)
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