The employment-cost index for civilian workers increased a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent in the second quarter of 2017, the Labor Department said Friday, as reported in The Wall Street Journal. Economists surveyed by The Journal had forecast a 0.6 percent gain.
Employment costs such as wages and salaries, which account for 70 percent of total compensation, rose 0.5 percent from the prior quarter, the figures showed. Benefits, including health coverage, retirement savings and paid leave, advanced 0.6 percent.
Additionally, total compensation rose 2.4 percent from a year earlier. Wages also increased 2.3 percent from a year earlier, the figures showed.
The unemployment rate stood at 4.4 percent last month, near the lowest level in a decade.