The productivity of U.S. workers increased at a 2.2 percent annual rate during the second quarter of 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The increase in productivity reflects increases of 2.4 percent in output and 0.1 percent in hours worked.
The modest increase in the April-June quarter is largely due to the fact that employers cut back on hiring. However, many economists expect productivity to slow later this year, which could boost hiring.
From the second quarter of 2011 to the second quarter of 2012, productivity increased 1.2 percent as output and hours worked rose 3.0 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.
Labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of hours worked of all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers.
Manufacturing sector productivity rose 0.1 percent in the second quarter of 2012, as output grew 1.5 percent and hours worked increased 1.4 percent. Productivity increased 3.7 percent in the durable goods sector in contrast to the decrease of 3.8 percent in the nondurable goods sector, according to the BLS.
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