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U.S. Manufacturing Employment Costs Slow

Total compensation costs for workers in the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy increased at a seasonally adjusted rate of 0.6% during the final calendar quarter of 2004, their slowest rate of growth for any quarter last year, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Jan. 28. Wages and salaries rose 0.1% in the final quarter of 2004 while the cost of benefits rose 1.4%.

Total compensation costs, which include benefits as well as wages and salaries, increased 1.2% during the third quarter of 2004, 0.8% in the second quarter, and 2.3% during the first quarter. For the full year 2004, total compensation costs in manufacturing increased 5%.

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