A broad gauge of U.S. wages and benefits rose at the fastest pace since 2007 during the first quarter of the year, a possible sign of a tightening labor market.
The employment-cost index for civilian workers increased a seasonally adjusted 0.8% in the opening three months of 2017, the Labor Department said Friday. That was the sharpest rise since the fourth quarter of 2007.
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Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.6% gain.
Wages and salaries climbed 0.8% and benefits advanced 0.7% from the prior quarter.
From a year earlier, total compensation rose 2.4% at the start of 2017, a measured pace that suggests the labor market isn't close to overheating. The year-over-year rise was the strongest since early 2015.
Average hourly earnings for private-sector workers, a separate gauge of wages, climbed 2.7% in March from a year earlier.
Both measure remain below levels from before the recession.
The Labor Department's report on the employment cost index can be found at: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/eci.toc.htm.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 28, 2017 08:45 ET (12:45 GMT)