P. M. Briefing : Wage, Benefit Costs Up 5.1%

From Times Wire Services

The cost to employers to pay the wages and benefits of workers climbed 1.6% in the third quarter and 5.1% in the last year, with health insurance premiums again driving up benefit costs at a faster pace than salaries, the government said today.

The 1.6% gain was up from a 1.3% increase in the July-September period last year. The 5.1% jump in overall compensation costs for the year ended last month was up from 4.7% for the 12 months ending in September, 1988, the Labor Department said.

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