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U.S. Labor Productivity Growth Upwardly Revised To 1.5% In Q2

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A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed U.S. labor productivity increased by more than initially estimated in the second quarter, while unit labor costs rose by less than initially estimated.

The Labor Department said labor productivity climbed by 1.5 percent in the second quarter compared to the previously reported 0.9 percent increase. Economists had expected the pace of productivity growth to be upwardly revised to 1.3 percent.

With the upward revision, the productivity growth in the second quarter reflects an even more substantial acceleration from the 0.1 percent uptick seen in the first quarter.

The bigger than previously estimated increase in productivity, a measure of output per hour, came as output spiked by more than initially estimated.

Output surged up by 4.0 percent compared to the initially estimated 3.4 percent, while the increase in hours worked was unchanged at 2.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the report said unit labor costs rose by 0.2 percent during the quarter compared to the previously reported 0.6 percent growth. Unit labor costs had been expected to rise by a revised 0.3 percent.

The modest increase in unit labor costs in the second quarter comes on the heels of the 4.8 percent spike seen in the first quarter.

The downward revision to unit labor cost growth in the second quarter reflected the stronger than initially estimated productivity growth, as the increase in hourly compensation was upwardly revised to 1.8 percent from 1.6 percent.

Real hourly compensation, which takes changes in consumer prices into account, climbed by 2.1 percent compared to the initially estimated 1.9 percent.

Compared to the same quarter a year ago, productivity was up by 1.3 percent in the second quarter, as output climbed by 2.8 percent and hours worked increased by 1.5 percent.

Meanwhile, unit labor costs were down by 0.2 year-over-year in the second quarter, as the productivity growth offset a 1.1 increase in hourly compensation.

by RTT Staff Writer

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