By Martin Crutsinger
WASHINGTON – U.S. companies got more output from their workers this spring than initially thought, especially as the pace of hiring slowed dramatically.
Rising productivity can boost corporate profits. It can also slow job creation if it means companies are getting more from their current staff and don't need to add workers.
Productivity, the amount of output per hour worked, increased at an annual rate of 2.2% in the April-June quarter after declining at a 0.5% pace in the first quarter of the year. That's up from an initial estimate of a 1.6% gain. Labor costs rose at an annual rate of 1.5%, slightly lower than the 1.7% initially estimated.