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U.S. Productivity Drops 0.5% in First Quarter

MarketWatch (05/03/12) Jeffry Bartash

The U.S. Department of Labor reports a 0.5% decrease in U.S. productivity during the first quarter, less than the 1% drop predicted by economists in a MarketWatch survey. The manufacturing sector, however, experienced a 5.9% jump in productivity. The DOL reports a 2.7% annual jump in goods and services produced, a 3.2% gain in hours worked, and a 2% rise in unit-labor costs. It also shows a 0.9% inflation-adjusted decline in hourly compensation.