WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers' costs to hire and retain workers grew at a slightly slower pace in the summer, suggesting that a somewhat softer — but still solid — jobs climate is easing inflation pressures.
The Labor Department reported Wednesday that compensation costs — including wages, salaries and benefits — rose by 0.8 percent in the July-to-September quarter. That was down a bit from a 0.9 percent increase posted in the second quarter.
The third-quarter increase was a little weaker than the 0.9 percent rise in compensation costs expected by economists.
With wage inflation pressures easing, that gives the Federal Reserve leeway to lower a key interest rate again as an insurance policy to protect the economy from a deepening housing slump.