Wages and benefits for workers who have remained employed have declined during the past 18 months, writes Tom Petruno. It's unclear whether that downward pressure will continue, he writes. However, he notes that toolmaker Black & Decker recently announced that it will reverse pay cuts initiated in April. Meanwhile, 35% of companies that cut 401(k) matching funds plan to reinstate them in the next six months, according to a recent survey. Nevertheless, Petruno says that it is possible that wages could remain depressed because qualified people are willing to work for less money.

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