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Economic Report: Labor costs climb 0.6% in third quarter, ECI finds

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All the hiring in the U.S. over the past few years has helped many workers to get little more money in their paychecks.

The cost for businesses to employ workers rose 0.6% in the third quarter, as benefits advanced at the fastest pace in two years.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected a seasonally adjusted 0.6% increase in the so-called employment cost index.

The ECI is a closely followed gauge that reflects how much companies, governments and nonprofit institutions pay their employees in wages and benefits. The index has grown somewhat faster in the past two years as the unemployment rate dropped to an eight-year low and the pool of available labor shrank, making it more costly for companies to attract or retain employees.

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