US worker productivity fell 0.9 pct. annual rate

AP News
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Posted: Jun 06, 2012 8:37 AM
US worker productivity fell 0.9 pct. annual rate

U.S. worker productivity fell by the largest amount in a year from January through March. The steeper drop in production than first estimated suggests companies could hire more in the coming months.

The Labor Department says productivity fell at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the first quarter. That's faster than the 0.5 percent annual decline first estimated last month.

Productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, fell more than initially reported because revisions showed less output and slightly more hours worked.

Labor costs rose 1.3 percent, down from an initial estimate of 2 percent. Compensation costs were smaller.

The productivity decline could signal that companies are struggling to squeeze more output from their workforces and must hire to meet rising demand.