With a notable increase in hours worked more than offsetting a modest increase in output, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a bigger than expected drop in U.S. labor productivity in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The report said labor productivity fell by 2.0 percent in the fourth quarter following a revised 3.2 percent increase in the third quarter. Economists had expected productivity to drop by 1.3 percent compared to the 2.9 percent increase that had been reported for the previous quarter.
At the same time, the Labor Department said unit labor costs surged up by 4.5 percent in the fourth quarter after falling by 2.3 percent in the third quarter. Labor costs had been expected to increase by about 3.1 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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