Wages up by smallest amount in nine years
Employee compensation rose by 3.1 percent in 2005
Wages and benefits paid to civilian workers rose last year by the smallest amount in nine years, the government reported Tuesday.
The Labor Department said that employee compensation was up 3.1 percent in 2005, an increase that was slower than the 3.7 percent rise in 2004. The slowdown reflected a big drop in benefit costs — items such as health insurance and pensions — which rose by 4.5 percent last year after jumping by 6.9 percent in