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November 07, 2007
Productivity Rises at Fastest Clip in 4 Years

Productivity rose at an annual rate of 4.9 percent in the third quarter of 2007, the largest increase since the third quarter of 2003, according to a preliminary report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

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In the third quarter of 2007, output grew 4.3 percent and hours worked declined 0.5 percent. After revision, output per hour increased 2.2 percent in the second quarter, as output growth of 4.2 percent was partially offset by a 2.0 percent increase in hours worked.

The third-quarter productivity increase was the largest since a 10.4 percent increase in the third quarter of 2003.

Meanwhile, hourly compensation increased at a 4.7 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2007. When the rise in consumer prices is taken into account, real hourly compensation rose 2.7 percent during the third quarter, after falling 1.5 percent in the second quarter.

Unit labor costs edged down 0.2 percent during the third quarter of 2007, after rising 2.2 percent in the second quarter.

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