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February 07, 2007
Productivity Growth Slowed Slightly in 2006

Productivity rose 2.1 percent in 2006, down slightly from the 2.3 percent gain in 2005, according to a report by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

During the fourth quarter productivity rose at an annual rate of 3.0 percent, as output grew 4.2 percent and hours of all persons--employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers--rose 1.2 percent.

Productivity declined 0.1 percent in the third quarter of 2006, as output and hours grew 1.9 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, hourly compensation rose 4.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006, following a 3.1-percent increase in the third quarter. When the 2.2-percent decrease in consumer prices was taken into account, real hourly compensation grew 7.1 percent during the fourth quarter of 2006.

Unit labor costs, which relate hourly compensation to output per hour, rose 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006, after increasing 3.2 percent in the third quarter and decreasing 2.4 percent in the second quarter.

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