U.S. Worker Productivity Improves at Best Pace in Three Years

U.S. worker productivity accelerated this spring at the best pace in more than three years, a possible sign stronger business investment is giving workers the tools they need to boost output.

The productivity of nonfarm workers, measured as the output of goods and services for each hour on the job, increased at an annualized and seasonally adjusted rate of 2.9% in the second quarter from the first, the Labor Department said Wednesday. It was the strongest quarterly gain since the first three months of 2015.

But from a year earlier, productivity advanced 1.3%, matching the average rate of growth from 2007 to 2017. Year-to-year productivity growth remains well below the 2.1% annual average recorded since the end of World War II.

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