US worker productivity up 2.3 percent in 2Q

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. workers saw their productivity increase in the April-June quarter after a big decline in the first quarter while their labor costs edged down slightly.

The Commerce Department says that productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.3 percent in the second quarter. That represented a large rebound from the first quarter when productivity fell at a 4.5 percent rate. Unit labor costs edged down 0.1 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter, a significant moderation from an 11.6 percent surge in the first quarter.

Gains in productivity mean workers can be paid more without worsening inflation. Over the past year, productivity is up a modest 1.1 percent while labor costs have risen 1.7 percent.