Productivity rose in third quarter and labor costs slipped slightly

Nov. 14, 2013 at 10:52 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Productivity in non-farm businesses rose in the third quarter, while unit labor costs dropped slightly,

the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday.

Productivity, defined as output per hour, rose 1.9 percent as output increased 3.7 percent and hours worked rose 1.7 percent.

As they rose at different rates, the ratio between the two changed from quarter to quarter.

In contrast, the relationship between the two was stagnant from the third quarter of 2012. From a year ago, productivity rose 1.8 percent and hours worked rose 1.8 percent, which left productivity unchanged from a year earlier.

Hourly compensation rose 1.3 percent in the third quarter, while unit labor costs dropped 0.6 percent. From a year earlier, unit labor costs rose 1.9 percent, the bureau said.

The bureau said manufacturing productivity rose 0.4 percent in the third quarter on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, as output rose 1.3 percent and hours worked rose 0.8 percent.

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