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American Productivity Up 1.8% for Q4

By Justin Loiseau - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:22PM

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Compensation increases keep corporate savings at bay.

Americans are working more for more pay, according to a revised Q4 Productivity and Costs report (link opens in PDF) released today by the Labor Department. Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased a seasonally adjusted annualized 1.8% for Q4 2013, driven primarily by a 3.4% Q/Q boost in output. After improving a revised 3.5% in Q3 2013, analysts had expected a stronger 2.4% rate for the final quarter of 2013. 

As productivity headed higher, unit labor costs managed to make a minor 0.1% dip. Analysts had expected a 0.5% decrease after Q3's revised 2.1% drop, but a 1.7% boost in hourly compensation kept improvements moving right along to employees.

 Source: bls.gov 

For manufacturing, productivity increased 1.3%, while labor costs also fell 0.1%. In a solid sign for durable goods manufacturing, productivity pushed ahead 3%. 

Comparing this quarter to Q4 2012, productivity is up 1.3%, while unit labor costs are down 0.9%.

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