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The Boston Globe

Business

Improving wages may help soften higher payroll tax

WASHINGTON — An improving job market is boosting wages — just as every American worker is hit with a tax increase.

Hourly earnings climbed 0.3 percent, on average, in December for a second month, the biggest back-to-back increase since the economic recovery began in mid-2009, Labor Department figures show. Combined with a longer workweek, that brought the average weekly paycheck to $818.69, up 1.2 percent from October and the steepest two-month gain since February-March 2007, before the recession began.

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