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US worker productivity up 2.3 percent in 2Q

In this Aug. 7 2014 phoworker assembles constructisupplies Northeast Building Products Philadelphia. Labor Department releases second-quarter productivity datThursday Sept. 4

In this Aug. 7, 2014 photo, a worker assembles construction supplies at Northeast Building Products in Philadelphia. Labor Department releases second-quarter productivity data on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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WASHINGTON — 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.



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