Productivity rises, wage pressures ease

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Worker productivity is on the rise -- at its fastest pace in two years.

At the same time, wage pressures have eased sharply. Both are developments that should reduce concerns about inflation.

The Labor Department says productivity jumped to an annual growth rate of 2.6 percent between April and June. That's even better than the 1.8 percent rise that was initially reported.

Productivity is the amount of output per hour of work.

As measured by unit labor costs, wage pressures slowed to an annual growth rate of 1.4 perecnt. Initially, they were estimated to be rising at a 2.1 percent rate.

If rising wages aren't accompanied by increased productivity, they can trigger unwanted inflation.

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