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May 05, 2005
Productivity Rises
Productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2005, up from the 2.1 percent gain in the fourth quarter of 2004, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

In the first quarter of 2005, output grew 3.6 percent and hours of all persons increased by 1.0 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rates). In the fourth quarter of 2004, productivity had risen 2.1 percent, reflecting increases in output and hours of 3.7 and 1.6 percent, respectively.

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Hourly compensation increased 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2005, more rapidly than in the fourth quarter, when it grew 3.8 percent. When the rise in consumer prices was taken into account, real hourly compensation rose 2.4 percent in the first quarter, up from 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Unit labor costs grew 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2005, more rapidly than the 1.7-percent rise of the previous quarter.

Tomorrow, the Labor Department will report on the employment situation in April.

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