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Worker Productivity Declined in 4th Quarter Due to Temporary Factors

Associated Press (02/08/13) Martin Crutsinger

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that worker productivity fell 2% in the fourth quarter, following a 3.2% gain in the third quarter, but rose 1% for all of 2012, versus a 0.7% increase in 2011. Labor costs edged up 4.5% in the fourth quarter and 0.7% for the year. Economists expect weak productivity through this year, noting that as the economy picks up steam and demand rises, companies will have to boost hiring to keep up.