US Productivity Down

Washington, May 4 (IANS): US non-farm business sector labour productivity decreased at a 0.5-percent annual rate during the first quarter of 2012, a drop after two consecutive quarterly gains, the US Labor Department reported.

The government data revealed that the decline in productivity reflects increases of 2.7 percent in output and 3.2 percent in hours worked in the January-March quarter of this year.

Unit labour costs in non-farm businesses rose 2 percent in the first quarter, while hourly compensation increased 1.5 percent, reported Xinhua.

From January to March, US manufacturing sector productivity rose 5.9 percent as output grew 10.8 percent and hours worked increased 4.6 percent. The increase in productivity and output were the largest since the second quarter of 2010. Over the last four quarters, manufacturing productivity increased 2.5 percent.

The department upwardly revised productivity growth in the last quarter of 2011 to 1.2 percent.

Productivity measures the amount of output per hour of work.


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