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Economy in Brief

Gain in the Employment Cost Index Accelerated
by Tom Moeller July 28, 2006

The employment cost index for private industry workers increased 0.8% during 2Q, about as expected, after an unrevised 0.6% 1Q increase.

The 2Q increase was the fastest in over a year.

Wages & salaries grew at the quickest pace (0.9%) since late 2003 as factory sector wages grew 0.8% (NSA, 2.7% y/y). That was the best quarterly gain since 3Q04. Service-producing industries' wage also grew a firm 0.8% (2.7% y/y) which was stable with 1Q.

Benefit costs grew 0.7% after a depressed 1Q increase.

The 12-month gain in health insurance benefits picked up slightly to 5.2%.

To view the latest release with all the industry detail visit BLS site.

ECI- Private Industry Workers 2Q '06 1Q '06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Compensation 0.8% 0.6% 2.8% 3.0% 3.7% 4.0%
  Wages & Salaries 0.9% 0.7% 2.9% 2.5% 2.7% 3.0%
  Benefit Costs 0.7% 0.4% 2.7% 4.0% 6.6% 6.5%
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