US productivity remains strong, rising 1.6 percent in Q1


Say what you will about the the U.S. economy, auto company travails and all, U.S. worker productivity has not weakened one bit.

U.S. worker productivity increased at an annualized rate of 1.6 percent in Q1, with unit labor costs rising three percent rate, the U.S. Labor Department announced Thursday, as companies continued to find ways to increase per employee output amid difficult business conditions. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected productivity to increase 1.2 percent in Q1 and unit labor costs to rise 2.8 percent. In Q4 2008, productivity increased at an 0.8 percent annual rate and unit labor costs rose 3.5 percent.