RTTNews - Thursday morning, the Labor Department released its revised report on labor productivity and unit labor costs in the first quarter, showing that productivity increased by more than previously expected while labor costs rose less than originally estimated.

The report showed that productivity increased by 1.6 percent in the first quarter compared to the 0.8 percent increase that had been reported last month. Economists had been expecting the increase in productivity to be revised up to 1.2 percent.

A smaller than previously reported drop in output contributed to the upward revision to the pace of productivity growth, with output falling by 7.6 percent compared to the originally reported 8.2 percent drop.

At the same time, the notable decrease in hours worked was unrevised at 9.0 percent, with productivity measured by output per hour of all persons.

Additionally, the Labor Department said that unit labor costs increased by 3.0 percent in the first three months of the year, a downward revision from the originally reported 3.3 percent increase. The increase in costs was expected to be revised down to 2.9 percent.

The revised readings on productivity and unit labor costs compare to a 0.6 percent decrease in productivity and a 5.1 percent increase in costs in the fourth quarter.

The report also showed an upward revision to the pace of growth in hourly compensation in the first quarter, which was revised up to 4.6 percent from the previously reported 4.1 percent.

At the same time, the pace of growth in hourly compensation in the fourth quarter was downwardly revised to 4.5 percent from the 5.2 percent that had been reported.

The Labor Department released a separate report showing that that initial jobless claims in the week ended May 30th fell to 621,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 625,000.

Economists had been expecting jobless claims to edge down to 620,000 from the 623,000 originally reported for the previous week.

At the same time, the Labor Department said that the less volatile four-week moving average rose to 631,250 from the previous week's revised average of 627,250.

However, the report also showed that continuing claims fell to 6.735 million in the week ended May 23rd from the preceding week's revised level of 6.750 million.

The modest decrease in continuing claims breaks a recent streak of record highs and marks the first decrease since the week ended January 3rd.

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