March 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. Labor Department said Thursday productivity among American workers increased in the fourth quarter of 2018 at a greater pace than expected.
Non-farm business and manufacturing sector employees produced more in less time over the fourth quarter, the BLS annual rates showed. Productivity was up about 2 percent for both non-farm business employees and manufacturing sector employees.
The Labor Department measures "output per hour" or labor productivity "by dividing an index of real output by an index of hours worked by all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers," the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.
Annual average productivity rose 1.3 percent from 2017 to 2018. In all, the fourth quarter and annual gains exceeded preliminary estimates.
The 35-day government shutdown delayed the release of the figures by a month.