U.S. Employment Costs Moderate Even in Tight Job Market: Chart

The U.S. employment cost index, which measures the costs of wages and benefits in addition to employer-paid taxes such as Social Security and Medicare, rose 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, Labor Department data showed Tuesday. Both wages and benefits decelerated from 2015. While that’s disappointing for workers, especially in a tight job market, contained employment costs help lift corporate profits and limit inflation.

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