Productivity Down, Labor |Costs Up in First Quarter

     (CN) — U.S. productivity fell in the first three months of the year, while labor costs rose at the fastest pace in more than a year.
     Productivity, defined as the amount of output per hour of work, declined at an annual rate of 1 percent in the January-March period, the Labor Department said Wednesday.
     At the same time, labor costs rose at a rate of 4.1 percent in the first quarter, reflecting rising wages. Labor costs had been up 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter.

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