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U.S. Productivity Fell 0.9% in First Quarter as Growth Cooled

The productivity of U.S. workers fell more than initially estimated in the first quarter as labor costs climbed, indicating companies may pause before bringing on new employees.

The measure of employee output per hour decreased at a 0.9 percent annual rate, after a 1.2 percent gain in the prior three months, revised figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. Expenses per worker rose at a 1.3 percent rate and output grew 2.4 percent, less than previously estimated.