Pay Gains for US Workers Slowed in 2Q

Subaru factory worker
Worker in an Indiana Subaru factory. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

WASHINGTON — U.S. workers saw their wages and benefits grow more slowly in the second quarter, a sign that a tight labor market has yet to accelerate income gains.

The Labor Department says overall compensation rose 0.6% in the April-June period, compared with a 0.8% rise in the first quarter.

Wages and salaries, which account for 70% of compensation, rose 0.5%, compared to a 0.9% gain in the first quarter. Benefits costs rose 0.9%, compared to 0.7% in the first quarter of 2018. Benefits costs cover pensions and health insurance.

Wages and salaries rose 2.9% in June from a year earlier, a solid gain. But it was the same annual pace reached in March even though the unemployment rate has hovered near 17-year lows.