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Wages and benefits grow at slowest pace in 3 years
AP Jul 31, 2020 7 days ago
FILE - In this Nov. 27, 2019, file photo Jayln Martin, right, and Dan Villegas stock items in preparation for a holiday sale at a Walmart Supercenter in Las Vegas. On Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, the Labor Department reports on wages and benefits for U.S. workers during the Oct.-Dec. quarter. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
FILE - In this July 12, 2020, file photo, a waiter wears a protective face mask and gloves while working at the il bolognese restaurant along Ocean Drive during the coronavirus pandemic, in Miami Beach, Fla. Wages and benefits for U.S. workers rose at the slowest pace in three years in the April-June quarter, a sign that businesses are holding back on pay as well as cutting jobs in the coronavirus recession. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Wages and benefits for U.S. workers rose at the slowest pace in three years in the April-June quarter, a sign that businesses are holding back on pay as well as cutting jobs in the coronavirus recession.
Pay and benefits increased 0.5% in the second quarter, according to the government's https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/eci.pdf">Employment Cost Index, released Friday. That is down from 0.8% in the first three months of the year. Wages and salaries rose just 0.4%, while benefits jumped 0.8%.
Employers shed 22 million jobs in March and April before rehiring about one-third of those workers in May and June. That has left the unemployment rate at 11.1%, one of the highest rates since the Depression. With the unemployment rate so high, workers who still have jobs have less ability to resist pay cuts or demand raises.
The ECI tracks pay and benefits for existing jobs, so it isn't affected by layoffs or shifts in the types of jobs that exist in the economy.