Business productivity falling nationwide - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Business productivity falling nationwide

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) -- Businesses are less productive this spring for the first time in more than a year.  This may be a sign that companies will need to hire more workers in the near future.

Recent reports from the U.S. Labor Department show that worker productivity dropped by nearly one percent from April to June after posting big gains throughout 2009.

Productivity was able to spike during the recession as companies cut their payrolls and drove up unemployment to the highest levels in more than two decades.  Economists say a slowing in productivity would be a welcome development if it does translate into more hiring.

Output of U.S. workers is the key ingredient to boosting living standards. It allows companies to pay workers more because of the increased production without being forced to raise the cost of their goods.

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