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U.S. Productivity Falls in Last Months of 2014

Wall Street Journal (02/05/15) Ben Leubsdorf

Employee productivity fell in the fourth quarter of 2014, the latest indication of weak gains that could constrain the economy’s long-term expansion. Nonfarm worker productivity dropped at a seasonally adjusted 1.8% annual rate during the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Productivity fell in the fourth quarter because output increased at a 3.2% pace but hours worked rose at a 5.1% rate, the biggest increase in hours since the fourth quarter of 1998. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast productivity would be flat in the fourth quarter.