Wages rise at 2.6 percent in 2017 despite Q4 slowdown

January 31, 2018 - 8:34 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. workers' wages and benefits grew 2.6 percent last year, the fastest 12-month pace since the spring of 2015.

The 12-month gain in wages and benefits came despite a slight slowdown at the end of last year with wages and benefits rising 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter, a tiny dip from a 0.7 percent gain in the third quarter. Still, the 12-month gain was an improvement from a 2.2 percent gain for the 12 months ending in December 2016.

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Donald Trump touted the rise in wages as an accomplishment of his economic program. But private economists contend that wages should be rising at a faster pace given that unemployment is now at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent.

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