March 6, 2019 / 1:40 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Canadian labor productivity dips by 0.4 pct, hours worked rises

(Adds details of release)

OTTAWA, March 6 (Reuters) - The labor productivity of Canadian businesses fell by 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter as output remained steady while the hours worked rose, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.

Business activity remained unchanged after nine consecutive quarterly increases. Hours worked in the business sector grew by 0.4 percent.

Labor costs per unit of output increased by 1.2 percent, the steepest rate of growth in a year, thanks to higher average compensation per hour worked and lower productivity.

The hours worked climbed in 10 of the 16 main industry sectors, led by agriculture and forestry, construction and wholesale trade.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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