September 6, 2017 / 12:51 PM / 2 years ago

Canadian second-quarter labor productivity slips, first decline in a year

Worker loads part for welding in robot bay at Alfield Industries, a subsidiary of Martinrea, one of three global auto parts makers in Canada, in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada April 28, 2017. Picture taken April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The labor productivity of Canadian businesses dipped by 0.1 percent in the second quarter, the first decline in a year, as the number of hours worked grew faster than business output, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.

Statscan revised first quarter growth down to 1.3 percent from an initial 1.4 percent. Productivity last fell in the second quarter of 2016, slipping by 0.4 percent.

Real gross domestic product of businesses rose by 1.3 percent in the second quarter as every major industrial sector except agriculture and forestry increased production.

The number of hours worked on production in the business sector grew by 1.4 percent, the largest increase since the 1.9 percent seen in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Overall labor costs per unit of production dropped by 0.8 percent as the average pay per hour worked fell by 0.9 percent, the first such decline since the third quarter of 2015.

Reporting by David Ljunggren

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