U.S. wages and benefits grow at slowest pace in 3 years

U.S. PAY and benefits increased 0.5% in the second quarter, the slowest pace in three years in the April-June quarter. / AP FILE PHOTO/ ELAINE THOMPSON.
U.S. PAY and benefits increased 0.5% in the second quarter, the slowest pace in three years. / AP FILE PHOTO/ ELAINE THOMPSON.

WASHINGTON (AP) Wages and benefits for United States workers rose at the slowest pace in three years in the April-June quarter, a sign that businesses are holding back on pay as well as cutting jobs in the coronavirus recession.

Pay and benefits increased 0.5% in the second quarter, down from 0.8% in the first three months of the year. Wages and salaries rose just 0.4%, while benefits jumped 0.8%.

Employers shed 22 million jobs in March and April before rehiring about one-third of those workers in May and June. That has left the unemployment rate at 11.1%, one of the highest rates since the Depression. With the unemployment rate so high, workers who still have jobs have less ability to resist pay cuts or demand raises.

Christopher Rugaber is an AP economics writer.

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