FILE- In this Jan. 4, 2019, file work continues on a plan of new homes in Franklin Park, Pa. On Thursday, March 7, the Labor Department issues revised data on productivity in the fourth quarter. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

US productivity up modest 1.9 percent in fourth quarter

March 07, 2019 - 7:38 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. productivity grew at a rate of 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter, a slight improvement over the third quarter. Labor costs rose 2 percent, the strongest gain since the beginning of 2018.

The Labor Department says the result from the October-December period was slightly better than a 1.8 percent rise in the third quarter. For the full year, productivity rose 1.3 percent, a small improvement from a 1.1 percent gain in 2017. It was the best showing since a 3.4 percent productivity surge in 2010.

Productivity is the amount of output per hour of work. The strong showing in 2010 was an exception in the current recovery. Productivity overall has been extremely weak, and economists consider boosting productivity growth as the key challenge facing the U.S. economy.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()