Labor productivity growth in the U.S. slowed in the third quarter, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday, with the report also showing a rebound in unit labor costs.
The Labor Department said labor productivity climbed by 2.2 percent in the third quarter after jumping by 3.0 percent in the second quarter. Economists had expected productivity to increase by about 2.0 percent.
The slowdown in productivity growth came as output showed another significant increase, but the pace of growth slowed to 4.1 percent in the third quarter from 5.0 percent in the second quarter.
The report also said hours worked increased by 1.8 percent in the third quarter after surging up by 2.0 percent in the second quarter. Productivity is a measure of output per hour.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said unit labor costs shot up by 1.2 percent in the third quarter after slumping by 1.0 percent in the second quarter. The rebound in labor costs matched economist estimates.
The increase in labor costs came as hourly compensation spiked by 3.5 percent in the third quarter after jumping by 1.9 percent in the second quarter.
Real hourly compensation, which takes changes in consumer prices into account, climbed by 1.4 percent in the third quarter after edging up by 0.3 percent in the previous quarter.
Compared to the same quarter a year ago, productivity was up by 1.3 percent in the third quarter, as output jumped by 3.7 percent and hours worked increased by 2.4 percent.
Unit labor costs were up by 1.5 year-over-year amid a 2.8 percent surge in hourly compensation. Real hourly compensation was up just 0.1 percent year-over-year.