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U.S. Labor Productivity Continues To Tumble In Q2, Labor Costs Continue To Soar

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A report released by the Labor Department on Tuesday showed U.S. labor productivity continued to slump in the second quarter of 2022, while labor costs continued to soar.

The Labor Department said labor productivity tumbled by 4.6 percent in the second quarter after plummeting by a revised 7.4 percent in the first quarter.

Economists had expected productivity to plunge by 4.7 percent compared to the 7.3 percent nosedive that had been reported for the previous quarter.

The extended decline in productivity, a measure of output per hour, came as output slid by 2.1 percent and hours worked jumped by 2.6 percent.

The report showed productivity in the second quarter was down by 2.5 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago, reflecting the largest decrease on record.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said unit labor costs skyrocketed by 10.8 percent in the second quarter after surging by a revised 12.7 percent in the first quarter.

Unit labor costs were expected to jump by 9.5 percent compared to the 12.6 percent spike that had been reported for the previous quarter.

The continued surge in unit labor costs reflected the slump in productivity as well as a 5.7 percent leap in hourly compensation.

However, the report showed real hourly compensation, which takes changes in consumer prices into account, tumbled by 4.4 percent for the second straight quarter.

Compared to the same quarter a year ago, unit labor costs were up by 9.5 percent, reflecting the largest increase since the first quarter of 1982.

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