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The slow pace of annual wage increases in the private sector likely will continue in the coming months, according to the final third-quarter wage trend indicator released today by Bloomberg BNA, a publisher of specialized news and information.
The index now stands at 98.70 (second quarter 1976 = 100), down only slightly from the second-quarter reading of 98.72. Over the past two years, the forward-looking indicator has fluctuated within a narrow range from 98.47 to 98.75, showing no clear upward or downward trend.
“The possibility of a prolonged government shutdown and the threat of a U.S. Treasury default are injecting big unknowns into the near-term outlook for the economy and the labor market,” said economist Kathryn Kobe, a consultant to BNA. Kobe expects the rate of wage growth in the private sector to remain close to 1.9 percent, the increase reported by the Department of Labor.