A report released by the Labor Department showed a steep drop in U.S. labor productivity in the fourth quarter and a sharp increase in unit labor costs.
The Labor Department said labor productivity plunged by 4.8 percent in the fourth quarter after spiking by an upwardly revised 5.1 percent in the third quarter.
Economists had expected productivity to tumble by 2.8 percent compared to the 4.6 percent jump that had been reported for the previous quarter.
Meanwhile, the report said unit labor costs skyrocketed by 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter after plummeting by a revised 7.7 percent in the third quarter.
Unit labor costs were expected to surge up by 3.9 percent compared to the 6.6 percent nosedive that had been reported for the previous quarter.