Labor productivity in the U.S. rose by less than expected in the first quarter, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.
The report said labor productivity climbed by 0.7 percent in the first quarter after rising by 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter. Economists had expected productivity to increase by 0.9 percent.
The weaker than expected productivity growth came as a 2.8 percent spike in output was partly offset by a 2.1 percent jump in hours worked. Productivity is a measure of output per hour.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said unit labor costs surged up by 2.7 percent in the first quarter following a 2.1 percent increase in the fourth quarter. Costs had been expected to spike by 2.9 percent.
Hourly compensation shot up by 3.4 percent in the first quarter, although real hourly compensation, which takes changes in consumer prices into account, edged down by 0.1 percent.
Compared to the same quarter a year ago, productivity was up by 1.3 percent in the first quarter, as output climbed by 3.6 percent and hours worked increased by 2.2 percent.
Unit labor costs were up by 2.7 year-over-year in the first quarter amid a 2.5 percent jump in hourly compensation. Real hourly compensation was up just 0.2 percent year-over-year.