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June 06, 2003
Productivity Grows by 1.9 Percent in 1st Quarter
Productivity - as measured by employee output per hour - grew at a greater rate in the first quarter than the government initially reported in May.

Productivity rose 1.9 percent in the nonfarm business sector during the first quarter of 2003, reflecting a 1.8-percent rise in output and a 0.1- percent decrease in working hours of all persons, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported Wednesday. Hours worked in the nonfarm business sector now have declined in 10 of the last 12 quarters.

The BLS reported in May that productivity grew by 1.6 percent.

In the revised report, hourly compensation increased 3.4 percent in the first quarter of 2003. When the rise in consumer prices is taken into account, real hourly compensation fell 0.4 percent in the first quarter. Unit labor costs grew 1.5 percent during the first quarter of 2003. The implicit price deflator for nonfarm business output also rose by 1.5 percent.

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Productivity rose 1.9 percent in manufacturing in the first quarter of 2003, as output decreased 0.7 percent and working hours of all persons declined 2.6 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rates). In durable goods industries, productivity grew 2.1 percent, as output edged up by 0.1 percent and hours fell 2.0 percent. In nondurable goods industries, productivity rose 2.2 percent, as output dropped 1.2 percent and hours declined by 3.4 percent.

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