Labor costs fell 2.4%
U.S. workers increased their productivity in the third quarter at the highest level in a year and a half, and cost less to their employers. The trend holds promise for corporate profits but not necessarily job creation.
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On the other hand, fewer people applied last week for unemployment benefits, a hopeful sign that the labor market may have started a tentative rebound.
The Labor Department said productivity rose at an annual rate of 3.1% in the third quarter after two consecutive quarters of contraction. Labor costs fell at an annual rate of 2.4% in the third quarter, the first contraction since late 2010. Read more....