U.S. employment costs rise modestly in fourth quarter

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Wages and benefits for U.S. workers rose in the last quarter of the year, putting all of 2020 in somewhat of a normal range as the pandemic continued to rankle the economy.

Total U.S. workers compensation rose 0.7% in the October-December quarter, an increase over the previous two quarters, the Labor Department said Friday. Growth was 0.5% in the second and third quarters, down from 0.8% in the first three months of the year.

For the year, wages and benefits grew 2.5%, with wages and salaries up 2.6% and benefits, which include Social Security, grew 2.3%.

Wages and salaries grew 0.9% in the final quarter

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