March 6, 2015 / 1:37 PM / 3 years ago

Canada labor productivity dropped by 0.1 percent in fourth-quarter 2014

A welder works fabricating a piece of equipment at Sequoia Environmental Remediation, a leading environmental supply and service company in Calgary, Alberta, June 3, 2014. REUTERS/Todd Korol

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The labor productivity of Canadian businesses dropped by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 after posting a 0.2 percent gain in the third quarter, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

Experts had forecast no change in productivity. Statscan revised the third quarter increase up from an initial 0.1 percent.

Real gross domestic product of businesses increased by 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter, a slower pace than the 1.0 percent growth recorded in the third quarter.

Overall labor costs per unit of production were unchanged from the third quarter. The number of hours worked grew by 0.6 percent following a 0.7 percent increase in the third quarter.

For 2014 as a whole, labor productivity in Canadian businesses rose by 2.5 percent, the largest annual increase since the 2.7 percent recorded in 2005.

Reporting by David Ljunggren, Editing by W Simon

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