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December 06, 2007
Productivity Rises at Even Faster Clip

The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics has revised upward productivity data for the third quarter of 2007.

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In the revised report, the bureau said that productivity--as measured by output per hour of all persons--rose at an annual rate of 6.3 percent for the third quarter of 2007, the largest gain since a 9.1 percent increase in the third quarter of 2003. Preliminary estimates released on November 7 had put the third-quarter increase in productivity at 4.9 percent.

In the third quarter, output per hour of all persons rose 6.3 percent, the largest gain since a 10.4 percent increase in the third quarter of 2003.

Meanwhile, hourly compensation rose 4.2 percent in the third quarter of 2007. After a downward revision, second-quarter hourly compensation increased 1.0 percent; lower than a 4.4 percent rise reported on November 7.

From the third quarter of 2006 to the third quarter of 2007, hourly compensation increased 5.8 percent, the largest four-quarter gain since an increase of 6.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 1999 to the fourth quarter of 2000. When the rise in consumer prices is taken into account, real hourly compensation rose 2.3 percent in the third quarter of 2007 and fell 4.7 percent in the second quarter.

Unit labor costs decreased 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2007 due to the upward revision to productivity and the downward revision to hourly compensation.

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