WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported revised productivity data today for the second quarter of 2003. In the nonfarm business sector, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of productivity was 6.8 percent, the largest increase in a year.

Companies produced more with fewer workers, as output grew 4.4 percent while hours decreased 2.3 percent. In the first quarter of 2003, productivity had increased 2.1 percent, as output rose 1.4 percent and hours declined 0.7 percent.

Hourly compensation rose 3.8 percent in the second quarter, following a 4.1 percent advance in the first quarter. When the rise in consumer prices is taken into account, real hourly compensation increased 3.2 percent in the second quarter — the largest gain in real hourly compensation since the third quarter of 2000, when it grew 5 percent.

Unit labor costs decreased 2.8 percent in the second quarter. This measure had increased 2 percent in the first quarter.

Publication date: 09/01/2003