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This report includes a summary of key changes, including the salary level test and salary basis test.

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July 28, 2005
Compensation Costs Rise at Faster Pace

Total compensation costs for the private sector rose 0.8 percent in the second quarter, after advancing 0.6 percent in the previous quarter, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported.

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Wages and salaries of workers in the private industry rose 0.9 percent in the June quarter, up from an increase of 0.7 percent in the prior quarter.

For state and local government workers, compensation costs increased sharply, rising 1.1 percent from March to June after increasing 0.5 percent in the first quarter. Wages and salaries in state and local government advanced 0.9 percent during the March to June period, higher than the 0.4 percent gain in the prior quarter.

Benefits costs in the private sector rose 0.7 percent for the June quarter, following a 0.4 percent gain in the previous quarter. Benefit costs for state and local government workers increased 1.5 percent in the June quarter, following a more modest gain of 0.7 percent in March.

For the year ended June 2006, compensation costs increased 2.3 percent for goods-producing industries, sharply lower than the increase of 3.8 percent for the year ended June 2005.

The rise in compensation costs for manufacturing moderated for the year ending June 2006, advancing 1.9 percent compared with the 3.7 percent gain in June 2005. Compensation costs for construction rose 3.5 percent in June 2006, compared with a 3.2 percent gain in June 2005.

The over-the-year increase for June 2006 in compensation for service-providing industries was 2.9 percent, unchanged from the year ended June 2005.

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