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Slow wage growth likely to continue in private sector

November 19 2013

Annual wage increases in the U.S. private sector likely will likely change only incrementally, if at all, in the coming months, according to the preliminary fourth-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), matching the third-quarter reading of 98.70. Over the past two and a half 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 labor market is still showing positive momentum, but we're not drawing down our pool of unemployed workers very quickly,” said economist Kathryn Kobe, a consultant to BNA. Kobe expects private-sector wage growth in the coming months to remain close to the second-quarter rate of 1.9 percent year-over-year, the increase reported by the U.S. Department of Labor.

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