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Financial News: U.S. Labor Productivity Growth Slows But Still Exceeds

U.S. Labor Productivity Growth Slows But Still Exceeds Estimates

08/15/2019 - 09:49:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing U.S. labor productivity increased by more than anticipated in the second quarter.

The report said labor productivity climbed by 2.3 percent in the second quarter after surging up by a revised 3.5 percent in the first quarter.

Economists had expected productivity to increase by 1.5 percent compared to the 3.4 percent jump that had been reported for the previous month.

The bigger than expected increase in productivity, a measure of output per hour, came as output surged up by 1.9 percent in the second quarter and hours worked fell by 0.4 percent.

The Labor Department also said unit labor costs spiked by 2.4 percent in the second quarter after soaring by a revised 5.5 percent in the first quarter.

Labor costs had been expected been expected to jump by 2.0 percent compared to the 1.6 percent slump that had been reported for the previous quarter.

The notable increase in unit labor costs came as hourly compensation shot up by 4.8 percent in the second quarter after skyrocketing by a revised 9.8 percent in the first quarter.

Real hourly compensation, which takes changes in consumer prices into account, climbed by 1.8 percent in the second quarter after surging up by a revised 8.3 percent in the previous quarter.

Compared to the same quarter a year ago, productivity in the second quarter was up by 1.8 percent, as output increased by 2.6 percent and hours worked rose by 0.8 percent.

Unit labor costs were up by 2.5 percent year-over-year, with hourly compensation jumping by 4.3 percent and real hourly compensation climbing by 2.5 percent.

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