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Labor productivity slid in first quarter

May 3, 2012 at 12:25 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 3 (UPI) -- Labor productivity in non-farm businesses fell at a 0.5 percent annual rate during the first quarter of 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday.

From the first quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of this year, productivity increased 0.5 percent as hours worked rose 2.2 percent and output rose 2.8 percent, the Labor Department's statistical office said in a release.

BLS data indicated unit labor costs in non-farm businesses rose 2 percent in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter of last year, as hourly compensation increased 1.5 percent.

From the first quarter of 2011, unit labor costs rose 2.1 percent.

Manufacturing sector productivity rose by 5.9 percent in the first quarter with output up 10.8 percent and hours worked up 4.6 percent. These increases were both the largest since the second quarter of 2010.

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