U.S. nonfarm productivity fell in the first quarter, the second quarterly decline, and labor-related costs rose at their fastest pace since 2014 as companies hired more workers to maintain output.
The Labor Department said on Wednesday productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, declined at a 1.0 percent annual rate.
Fourth-quarter productivity was revised up to show a 1.7 percent rate of decline instead of the previously reported 2.2 percent pace. Productivity has only risen in two of the last six quarters.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast productivity falling at a 1.4 percent rate in the first quarter. Productivity rose at a 0.6 percent rate compared to the first quarter of 2015.