Labor productivity fell 0.5 percent on an annual basis, with productivity up 2.7 percent and hours worked up 3.2 percent.
The department said 27,000 fewer first-time unemployment benefit claims were filed in the week ending April 28. During the week, 365,000 initial benefit claims were filed.
The European Central Bank in Germany elected to keep its lending rate intact at 1 percent, giving markets in Europe a boost. But markets in New York lost ground.
By close of trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 61.98 points, 0.47 percent, to 13,206.59. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index lost 36.55 points, 1.16 percent, to 3,024.30. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 10.74 points, 0.77 percent, to 1,391.57.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 910 stocks advanced and 2,119 declined on a volume of 3.9 billion shares traded.
The 10-year benchmark treasury note rose 1/32 to yield 1.933 percent.
The euro fell to $1.3152 from Wednesday's $1.3158. Against the yen, the dollar rose to 80.24 yen from 80.13 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 0.31 percent, 29.30, to 9,380.25.
In London, the FTSE 100 index added 0.15 percent, 8.44, to 5,766.55.
GM recalls 221,000 Cadillacs and Impalas