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U.S. Productivity Dips Slightly Less Than Originally Estimated In Q3

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Revised data released by the Labor Department on Tuesday showed U.S. labor productivity dipped by slightly less than originally estimated in the third quarter.

The report said labor productivity edged down by 0.2 percent in the third quarter compared to the previously reported 0.3 percent drop. Economists had expected the decrease in productivity to be revised to just 0.1 percent.

The modest decrease in productivity in the third quarter compares to the 2.5 percent jump in productivity seen in the second quarter.

A measure of output per hour, productivity edged lower in the third quarter as output climbed by 2.3 percent compared to a 2.5 percent increase in hours worked.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said unit labor costs surged up by a revised 2.5 percent in the third quarter compared to the previously reported 3.6 percent spike. Labor cost growth had been expected to be revised to 3.3 percent.

The downward revision to the jump in labor costs came as the increase in hourly compensation was downwardly revised to 2.3 percent from 3.3 percent.

Real hourly compensation, which takes changes in consumer prices into account, rose by a revised 0.5 percent compared to the previously reported 1.4 percent increase.

The report also showed the previously reported 2.4 percent jump in labor costs in the second quarter was downwardly revised to just a 0.1 percent uptick.

The revised data showed hourly compensation climbed by 2.5 percent compared to the previously reported 5.0 percent spike.

Real hourly compensation fell by a revised 0.4 percent in the second quarter compared to the previously reported 2.0 percent increase.

Compared to the same quarter a year ago, productivity in the third quarter was up by 1.5 percent, as output increased by 2.3 percent and hours worked rose by 0.9 percent.

Unit labor costs were up by 2.2 percent year-over-year, with hourly compensation soaring by 3.7 percent and real hourly compensation climbing by 1.9 percent.

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