WASHINGTON (AP) --The productivity of U.S. companies grew at its most sluggish pace in a year during the second quarter as the nation's economic recovery lost momentum.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that productivity -- the amount of output per hour of work -- rose at an annual rate of 1.5 percent in the April-June quarter, according to revised figures.
While that was a better showing than the 1.1 percent rate estimated a month ago, it marked a slowdown from the brisk 8.6 percent growth rate posted in the first quarter.
In a second report, new claims for unemployment insurance fell last week by a seasonally adjusted 8,000 to 403,000 after rising for three weeks in a row, the department said. Even with the decline, claims were at a level suggesting that the labor market remains sluggish.
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