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U.S. Labor Productivity Unchanged In Q4, Labor Costs Jump 2.5%

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Revised data released by the Labor Department on Wednesday showed U.S. labor productivity was unchanged in the fourth quarter.

The Labor Department said labor productivity was unchanged in the fourth quarter compared to the previously reported 0.1 percent drop. Economists had expected the dip in productivity to be unrevised.

The unchanged reading on productivity in the fourth quarter came following the 2.6 percent jump seen in the third quarter.

The report showed that output surged up by 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter, while hours worked spiked by 3.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the report said unit labor costs soared by 2.5 percent compared to the previously reported 2.0 percent jump. The increase in labor costs was expected to be revised to 2.1 percent.

The jump in unit labor costs in the fourth quarter came on the heels of a revised 1.0 percent increase in the third quarter.

Hourly compensation shot up by 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter, while real hourly compensation, which takes changes in consumer prices into account, fell by 1.2 percent.

Compared to the same quarter a year ago, productivity was up by 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter, as output climbed by 3.2 percent and hours worked increased by 2.1 percent.

Unit labor costs were up by 1.7 year-over-year in the fourth quarter amid a 2.9 percent jump in hourly compensation.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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