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Washington – The annual wages and benefits for U.S. workers rose in the second quarter at a slightly slower pace than the first, suggesting that the lowest unemployment levels in a half century have not triggered rapid gains in worker compensation.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that pay and benefits for all U.S. workers increased 2.7% in the April-June quarter from a year earlier, down from a 2.8% rise in the first quarter compared to a year ago. The 12-month peak so far in this expansion for wages and salaries was a 2.9% gain for the period ending in December of last year.

The unemployment rate fell to a half century low of 3.6% in April and May and ticked up slightly to a still historically low 3.7% in June.

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