Productivity Growth Slows, Labor Costs Rise

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Washington (AP) The labor department says the productivity of
U.S. workers slowed sharply in the final three months of last year as the national economy lost momentum.

The government said Wednesday that productivity, the amount an
employee produces for every hour on the job, increased at an annual rate of just 1.9 percent in the October-to-December quarter. That was the slowest pace since the first quarter of last year.

As productivity growth slowed, labor costs went up. They rose at a 2.6 percent clip in the fourth quarter, the fastest pace since the first quarter of last year.