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Slow wage growth in private sector likely to remain

October 16 2013

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.

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