U.S. Labor Productivity Unexpectedly Plunges More Than Initially Estimated In Q3

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Labor productivity in the U.S. plunged by even more than initially estimated in the third quarter, according to revised data released by the Labor Department on Tuesday.

The Labor Department said labor productivity tumbled by 5.2 percent in the third quarter compared to the previously reported 5.0 percent nosedive. Economists had expected the slump in productivity to be revised to 4.9 percent.

The steep drop in productivity, a measure of output per hour, came as hours worked spiked by 7.4 percent compared to a 1.8 percent jump in output.

Meanwhile, the report showed the spike in unit labor costs during the third quarter was upwardly revised to 9.6 percent from 8.3 percent. The surge in unit labor costs was expected to be revised to 8.4 percent.

A 3.9 percent leap in hourly compensation contributed to the sharp increase in unit labor costs along with the steep drop in productivity.

The Labor Department said productivity jumped by 2.4 percent in the second quarter, while the increase in unit labor costs during the quarter was upwardly revised to 5.9 percent from 1.1 percent.

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