By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. wages and benefits grew in the spring at the slowest pace in 27 years, stark evidence that stronger hiring hasn't boosted pay. The slowdown also reflects a sharp drop-off in bonus and incentive pay.
The Labor Department says the employment cost index rose just 0.2 percent in the April-June quarter after a 0.7 increase in the first quarter. The index tracks wages, salaries and benefits. Wages and salaries alone also rose 0.2 percent.
Both measures recorded the smallest quarterly gains since the second quarter of 1982.
Salaries and benefits for private sector workers were unchanged, the weakest showing since the government began tracking the data in 1980.
In some occupations where bonuses are common, compensation fell sharply after spiking in the first quarter, including sales and management.
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