- Associated Press - Friday, January 28, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — Workers saw their wages and benefits rise slightly faster in 2010 than 2009 but the gain was still the second lowest increase in nearly three decades.

The Labor Department says wages and benefits increased 2 percent last year, slightly faster than the 1.4 percent increase in 2009. However, both years were the smallest gains on Labor Department records that go back 28 years.

The modest gains reflect a severe recession which pushed millions out of work and depressed the bargaining power of those with jobs. While weak wage gains mean low inflation pressures, it also leaves households with less income to boost consumer spending.

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