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Wage growth likely to accelerate later this year

February 19 2014

Annual wage increases in the U.S. private sector will likely accelerate later this year, according to the preliminary first-quarter wage trend indicator released by Bloomberg BNA, a publisher of specialized news and information.

Bloomberg BNA’s wage index now stands at 98.87 (second quarter 1976 = 100), up from the fourth-quarter reading of 98.77. This marks the second consecutive quarterly gain.

“We’re still seeing steady but modest improvements in the labor market, which removes some workers from the large pool of unemployed,” said economist Kathryn Kobe, a consultant to BNA. In addition, more employers are planning to make increases to their workforces, she said.

Kobe expects year-over-year gains in private sector wages to rise more than 2.1 percent later in 2014. That was the gain recently reported by the U.S. Department of Labor's employment cost index.

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