An employment index used to track overall labor costs rose 0.4% for the three-month period ending in December, after increasing 0.3% at a seasonally adjusted rate during the third quarter, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Tuesday.

For the 12-month period ending in December, the index rose 2.0%.

The index measures the cost of wages and salaries as well as benefits. Wages and salaries increased 0.4%, while benefit costs climbed 0.6%.

The fourth-quarter gain matched the uptick predicted by economists, according to a median estimate from Thomson Reuters.

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