Canada labor productivity drops for second consecutive quarter

Workers package mushrooms at the Highline Mushrooms farm, Canada's largest mushroom grower in Leamington, Ontario, Canada, April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The labor productivity of Canadian businesses fell by 0.6 percent in the third quarter, the second consecutive decline, as the number of hours worked grew faster than business output, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.

The drop was the largest since the 1.2 percent decline in the second quarter of 2015, which also marked the last time that productivity fell for two quarters in a row.

Real gross domestic product of businesses rose by 0.3 percent in the third quarter, sharply down from 1.2 percent in the second quarter.

The number of hours worked on production in the business sector grew by 0.9 percent after rising by 1.3 percent in the second quarter.

Overall labor costs per unit of production grew by 1.2 percent as the average pay per hour worked edged up by 0.6 percent on strength in both the goods- and service-producing industries.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Steve Orlofsky