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‘Alarmingly Big’ U.S. Wages Gain Undermines Argument That Inflation Is Transitory

  • Bevy of inflation data this week shows building pressures
  • Employment cost index includes record gain in civilian wages
Commuters walk through Pennsylvania Station in New York, U.S.

Commuters walk through Pennsylvania Station in New York, U.S.

Photographer: Amir Hamja/Bloomberg

While the U.S. government’s first estimate of third-quarter growth garnered plenty of attention this week, there was another economic data point that raised quite a few eyebrows.

The third-quarter employment cost index report showed civilian wages leapt 1.5%, the largest advance in series data back to 2001, as companies across a swath of sectors resorted to higher pay against a backdrop of labor shortages.