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U.S. Productivity Increases at 1.3% Pace in Second Quarter

Wall Street Journal (08/11/15) Eric Morath; Anna Louie Sussman

Employee productivity increased at a modest pace in the second quarter, despite steady hiring. Nonfarm worker productivity rose at a 1.3% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the second quarter, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Productivity was up 0.3% from a year ago. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast a 1.6% increase from the first quarter.

Meanwhile, unit labor costs rose at a 0.5% annual rate in the second quarter. Economists had forecast a 0.1% increase. Unit labor costs were up 2.1% from a year ago.

The increase in second-quarter productivity coincides with a boost in economic growth. Gross domestic product rose at a modest 2.3% annual pace in the second quarter, up from a 0.6% gain in the first quarter.