American workers increased their productivity in the first quarter as hourly compensation fell.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a productivity increase of 0.5% at an annual rate during the first quarter of 2013. The increase reflects a 2.1% increase in output and a 1.6% increase in hours worked.
Compared with the first quarter of 2012, productivity was up 0.9%. That compares with an average annual gain of 2.3% in the 11 years that ended in 2011, according to Bloomberg News.
Meanwhile hourly compensation fell 3.8% in the first quarter. That decline was the largest in the series, kept since 1947.
Patrick Newport, an economist with IHS Global Insight, said the drop in compensation was not worrisome but the weak productivity was.