Unit labor costs dropped in 2010

Feb. 3, 2011 at 12:09 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday non-farm labor productivity in the fourth quarter of 2010 rose at an annual rate of 2.6 percent.

The bureau said productivity beat expectations by 0.5 percentage points. Productivity also rose faster than the 2.4 percent increase in the third quarter.

For the fourth quarter, hours worked increased 1.8 percent while productivity, a component of labor productivity, rose 4.5 percent.

With productivity rising faster than labor costs, unit labor costs, or the cost of workers per units produced, fell 0.2 percent in 2010, the bureau said.

In the past four quarters, labor unit costs rose 1.5 percent, while productivity has risen 1.7 percent.

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