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September 04, 2003
Productivity Grew at Greater Clip than Initial Report Showed

Productivity - as measured by employee output per hour - for the second quarter was better than the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in its initial estimate in August.

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According to revised figures from BLS, productivity increased by an annual rate of 6.8 percent in the second quarter. BLS originally estimated a 5.7-percent rise in productivity.

Output grew 4.4 percent and hours of all persons fell 2.3 percent, BLS reported today. In the first quarter of 2003, output per hour in the nonfarm business sector increased 2.1 percent, as output rose 1.4 percent and hours declined 0.7 percent.

Hourly compensation rose 3.8 percent in the second quarter of 2003, following a 4.1 percent advance in the first quarter. When the rise in consumer prices was taken into account, real hourly compensation increased 3.2 percent in the second quarter of 2003. This was the largest gain in real hourly compensation since the third quarter of 2000, when it grew 5.0 percent.

Unit labor costs decreased 2.8 percent in the second quarter of 2003. This measure increased 2.0 percent in the first quarter.

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