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US labor costs decline on productivity gains

Nonfarm unit labor costs in the U.S. fell in the second quarter as productivity increased.

Labor costs decreased 1.0% in the second quarter from the prior quarter, higher than the preliminary estimate of a 0.9% decline, according to revised data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nonfarm business-sector labor productivity rose 2.9% in the second quarter as output climbed 5.0% and hours worked increased 2.0%. Hourly compensation rose 1.9%, down from an earlier estimate of 2.0%.

Compared with a year ago, second-quarter productivity ticked up 1.3%, reflecting a 3.5% increase in output and a 2.2% rise in hours worked.

Productivity in the manufacturing sector ticked up 1.5% on a quarterly basis, compared with an earlier estimate of a 0.9% increase.