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Economy in Brief

3Q'04 Employment Cost Index Up 0.9%
by Tom Moeller October 29, 2004

The employment cost index for private industry workers rose 0.9% last quarter, in line with Consensus expectations for a 1.0% gain.

Wages and salaries, which account for roughly 70% of the compensation index, accelerated from 2Q and rose 0.9%.

Benefit cost inflation in 3Q decelerated to 1.0% as the y/y cost of health benefits eased to 7.3%, the slowest since late 1999.

ECI- Private Industry Workers 3Q'04 2Q'04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Compensation 0.9% 1.0% 3.7% 4.0% 3.2% 4.2%
  Wages & Salaries 0.9% 0.6% 2.6% 3.0% 2.7% 3.8%
  Benefit Costs 1.0% 1.7% 6.8% 6.4% 4.7% 5.1%
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