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U.S. productivity revised sightly higher

March 7, 2013 at 9:57 AM

WASHINGTON, March 7 (UPI) -- Non-farm labor productivity dropped at a 1.9 percent annual rate during the fourth quarter of 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday.

The figure released Thursday is an upward revision from a previously reported 2 percent drop. The department also revised its hourly compensation figure to show an increase of 2.6 percent.

That was previously reported as 2.4 percent.

The changes shifted manufacturing unit labor costs -- or cost of labor per unit produced -- to a drop of 1.9 percent, rather than a gain of 0.4 percent as previously reported, the department said.

Labor productivity is defined as output per hour.

The department said the annual average productivity for 2012 was lowered slightly to 0.7 percent due to an upward revision in hours worked.

The 2.2 percent increase in hours worked was the largest gain since 2006, when it hours worked also rose 2.2 percent.

With more hours worked than previously reported, the hourly wage was lowered to show an increase of 1.4 percent, the smallest gain in the category since 2009 and the second smallest gain since 1948, the department said.

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