Labor productivity increased by more than expected in the first three months of the year, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday, although the report also showed a bigger than expected increase in labor costs.

The report showed that productivity rose 0.8 percent in the first quarter following a revised 0.6 percent decrease in the fourth quarter. Economists had expected productivity to rise 0.6 percent compared to the 0.4 percent decrease originally reported for the previous quarter.

At the same time, the Labor Department said that unit labor costs increased by 3.3 percent in the first quarter after surging up by an unrevised 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter. The increase exceeded economist estimates of a 2.7 percent increase.

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