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U.S. productivity up 1.8 percent in first quarter

06-03-2011 11:35 BJT

WASHINGTON, June 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased at a 1.8 percent annual rate during the first quarter, showing employers have squeezed more work out of their employees, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.

The revised figure was higher than an estimate of 1.6 percent released in May, but was sill lower than a upwardly revised 2.9 percent in the previous quarter, the department said.

The report showed that the gain in productivity reflected increases of 3.2 percent in output and 1.4 percent in hours worked.

Unit labor costs in nonfarm businesses edged up 0.7 percent in the first quarter, as the increase in hourly compensation outpaced the increase of productivity.

Productivity measures the amount of output per hour of work. Experts held that U.S. companies are reaching the limits on how much extra output they can get from their current payrolls, and they are quite likely to boost hiring in coming months.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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