U.S. Q3 Labor Productivity Growth Upwardly Revised To 0.8%

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Revised data released by the Labor Department on Wednesday showed U.S. labor productivity increased by much more than initially estimated in the third quarter.

The Labor Department said labor productivity climbed by 0.8 percent in the third quarter compared to the previously reported 0.3 percent uptick. Economists had expected productivity growth to be upwardly revised to 0.5 percent.

The upward revision to labor productivity, a measure of output per hour, came as the spike in output was upwardly revised to 3.3 percent from 2.8 percent, while the jump in hours worked was upwardly revised to 2.5 percent from 2.4 percent.

The stronger than previously estimated labor productivity growth in the third quarter came on the heels of a 4.1 percent plunge in productivity in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, the report showed the surge in unit labor costs in the third quarter was downwardly revised to 2.4 percent from 3.5 percent. The jump in unit labor costs was expected to be downwardly revised to 3.2 percent.

The downward revision to unit labor cost growth reflected the upward revision to productivity as well as a downward revision to the spike in hourly compensation, which was downwardly revised to 3.2 percent from 3.8 percent.

Real hourly compensation, which takes changes in consumer prices into account, tumbled by 2.3 percent compared to the previously reported 1.7 percent slump.

The downwardly revised jump in unit labor costs in the third quarter came after labor costs soared by 6.7 percent in the second quarter.

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