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Employment Costs in U.S. Match Fastest 12-Month Gain Since 2008

Total U.S. employee compensation rose in the fourth quarter and matched the biggest 12-month gain since 2008, as private-sector pay picked up, Labor Department figures showed Wednesday.

Private-sector wages and salaries rose from a year earlier by 2.8 percent, also matching the best gain of this expansion. Several industry groups registered increases of 3 percent or higher, led by transportation and material moving at 3.5 percent and service occupations at 3.3 percent, underscoring demand for labor.