WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. worker productivity grew at the same modest rate this summer as in spring, a sign that companies may be nearing the limits on how much output they can get from their employees.
The Labor Department says productivity increased at a modest 1.9 percent annual rate from July through September, matching the April-June quarter rate. Labor costs fell at a 0.1 percent rate after having risen at a 1.7 percent rate in the second quarter.
Productivity is the amount of output per hour of work. Weaker productivity can be a hopeful sign for job creation. It often means companies can't squeeze much more output from their staffs and must hire to meet demand.