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U.S. Labor Productivity Plunges More Than Expected In Q1

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Labor productivity in the U.S. showed a substantial pullback in the first quarter of 2022, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The Labor Department said labor productivity plunged by 7.5 percent in the first quarter, reflecting the largest decline since the third quarter of 1947.

The steep drop in the first quarter came after labor productivity surged by a revised 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Economists had expected productivity to tumble by 5.4 percent in the first quarter compared to the 6.6 percent spike that had been reported for the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, the report showed unit labor costs soared by 11.6 percent in the first quarter after climbing by a revised 1.0 percent in the fourth quarter.

Unit labor costs were expected to jump by 9.9 percent compared to the 0.9 percent increase that had been reported for the previous quarter.

The Labor Department said unit labor costs surged 7.2 percent over the last four quarters, reflecting the biggest increase in this measure since the third quarter of 1982.

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