Productivity Grew at Strong 2.9 Percent Rate in Second Quarter

(CN) — Productivity, the measure of output for each hour worked, grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the second quarter, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The jump in productivity followed a sluggish 0.3 percent gain in the first quarter.

Labor costs slipped 1 percent in the April-June quarter, instead of the 0.9 percent the department initially reported.

In the hands of economists, productivity is used to determine how fast the economy can grow and how much living standards can increase.

In related news, the department said Thursday that 203,000 people applied for jobless benefits last week, the lowest level since December 1969.

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