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Workplace Issues Today: Productivity up and labor costs down, but unemployment still at a 26-year high

Data released by the Labor Department today indicates that productivity soared during the final three months of 2008, while labor cost growth nonetheless decreased. In fact, productivity increased at a rate of 3.2% – significantly higher than the 1.1% predicted for that period. The cost of labor increased by 1.8%, 1.1% lower than expectations. The Labor Department also said that unemployment claims have reached a 26-year high. Last week’s new claims surpassed analyst forecasts, while the number of people remaining on unemployment increased too.

See Labor Costs Slow as Productivity Increases,” The New York Times, Feb 05 2009 (KBT)

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