Factory productivity gained in quarter

Nov. 4, 2010 at 12:08 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said non-farm labor productivity rose 1.9 percent in the third quarter, faster than economists predicted.

Economists expected a 0.9 percent rise following a 0.8 percent rise in the second quarter.

Thursday's report is considered a preliminary estimate. The data firms as more reports become available.

Factory output was pegged at 3 percent growth after growing 2.6 percent in the previous quarter.

In the quarter, the cost of wages and benefits rose 2 percent, while productivity grew 1.9 percent. That put labor costs per unit at a decline of 0.1 percent in July through September.

The Commerce Department said Monday wages declined 0.1 percent in September and have risen an average of less than 0.2 percent per month for the past five months.

The trend in manufacturing businesses showed labor productivity up 3.9 percent in the quarter with output increasing 7 percent and hours worked gaining 3 percent. At an annual rate, manufacturing productivity is up 6.3 percent. By comparison, in the recent 18-month recession, labor productivity in manufacturing rose 1.3 percent on an annual basis, the Labor Department said.

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