U.S. Productivity Rises 1.3% In Second Quarter After Two Negative Quarters

By Greg RobbMarketWatch Pulse

U.S. productivity in the second quarter rose by a 1.3% annual pace after two straight negative quarters. Output increased 2.8% in the second quarter while hours worked rose 1.5%, the Labor Department said Tuesday. On a year-on-year basis, productivity remains anemic, rising 0.3%. Unit-labor costs, meanwhile, rose by a 0.5% annual rate in the second quarter after a 2.3% rise in the first three months of the year. Hourly compensation for all workers rose 1.8% in the second quarter, but it fell 1.1% adjusted for inflation. Real compensation is up 0.9% from a year earlier. The decline in productivity in the first quarter was revised up slightly to a negative 1.1% from the prior estimate of 3.1%.

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