Associated Press (02/02/12)
U.S. productivity rose 0.7% in the final three months of 2011, according to a preliminary reading by the U.S. Labor Department. Slower productivity growth can be a good sign for hiring if economic growth picks up. Labor costs rose 1.2% in the final three months of last year, as wages and salaries grew at a faster pace than productivity. Still, inflation-adjusted wages fell 1.2% in all of 2011, the steepest annual drop since 1989.