M. Spencer Green, File, Associated Press
FILE - In this April 22, 2015, file photo, a sign at a recruiting station for Leslie's Pool supplies boasts that it is a great place to work during a National Career Fairs job fair, in Chicago. On Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, the Labor Department releases the employment cost index for the third quarter, a measure of wage and benefit growth.

WASHINGTON — Wages and benefits paid to U.S. civilian workers grew at a steady pace in the third quarter.

The Labor Department says total compensation rose 0.6 percent from July through September, same as it did from April through June. Wages and salaries increased 0.5 percent, benefits 0.7 percent.

In the 12 months that ended Sept. 30, compensation increased 2.3 percent, up from an annual gain of 2 percent a year earlier.

Wages and salaries, which account for 70 percent of compensation, were up 2.4 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, and benefits rose 2.3 percent.

But state and local workers got their biggest gain from an increase in benefits, up 3.7 percent over the past year; their wages and salaries rose just 2 percent, the department said Friday.