The productivity of U.S. workers rose 1.6 percent in the second quarter, the Labor Department reported Wednesday, as output of goods and services rose much faster than the amount of time employees worked. Economists polled by Bloomberg expected productivity to climb by 1.4 percent.
Output rose 2 percent in the April-to-June period, while hours worked increased at a slower 0.4 percent rate, the government said. That was down sharply from a 3.2 percent gain in hours worked during the first quarter.
Unit labor costs, which reflect changes in efficiency, increased 1.7 percent in the second quarter, from 5.6 percent in the first quarter, while hourly compensation increased 3.3 percent.