Productivity continued to grow in the fourth quarter, but at a slower pace
than it had in the blistering third quarter, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
of the U.S. Department of Labor.
In the fourth quarter, productivity--as measured by worker output per hour--climbed
2.7 percent. Employers saw output grow 4.2 percent and hours of all persons
grow 1.5 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rates).
In the third quarter, productivity rose at a revised rate of 9.5 percent.
Hourly compensation rose 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2003, down from
the 3.4-percent rise of the third quarter. When the changes in consumer prices
were taken into account, real hourly compensation grew 0.5 percent during the
fourth quarter of 2003 and 1.0 percent one quarter earlier.