WASHINGTON — The third quarter employment cost index was up 0.4%, with wages and salaries growing 0.3% and benefits increasing 0.7%, about as expected, suggesting the structure of labor costs did not change much.

Civilian compensation is running 1.9% higher over the year, the same pace as last year at this time, indicating little change in the overall outlook for the labor market. The rate of gain is about in line with rising consumer prices.

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