U.S. productivity growth was unrevised at a 5.4% rate in the first three months of the year while labor costs rose at an even faster rate.
The first quarter gain in productivity was unchanged from the initial estimate a month ago, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The 5.4% gain at a seasonally adjusted annual rate followed a steep plunge at a 3.8% rate in the fourth quarter.
Labor costs rose at a 1.7% rate in the first quarter, up from the initial estimate of a 1.6% increase.
Productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, showed turned in weak gains over the record-long economic expansion that ended with the pandemic-triggered recession last year.
Economists are hoping that some of the efficiencies businesses have implemented to cope with the pandemic may lead to stronger productivity gains in coming years.