Productivity up 3.3 percent in spring, labor costs fall

WASHINGTON - U.S. productivity in the spring rose at the fastest pace since late 2013, while labor costs declined.

The Labor Department says worker productivity increased at an annual rate of 3.3 percent in the April-June quarter. That was a rebound from the first quarter when productivity had fallen at a 1.1 percent rate.

Labor costs fell at a 1.4 percent rate in the second quarter, indicating that wages are not rising even as unemployment declines.

The 3.3 percent productivity gain represented an upward revision from a month ago when the government had estimated a more moderate rebound of 1.3 percent.

Even with the strong gain in the second quarter, productivity over the past year has increased by just 0.7 percent, continuing a weak trend seen through this recovery.