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U.S. productivity jumps at 9.5% pace in third quarter       Updated:November 06 05:57

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Productivity in the U.S. nonfarmbusiness sector grew at an annual rate of 9.5 percent in the third quarter of 2009, biggest quarterly gain in six years, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.

The third-quarter reading for productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, was also better than the 6.4 percent gain that economists had estimated.

Employers' unit labor costs, or costs of wages and benefits for each unit of output, plunged at an annual rate of 5.2 percent.

The U.S. economy rose at a pace of 3.5 percent in the third quarter after four consecutive quarters of contraction, a strong signal that the worst recession since the Great Depression has ended.

Productivity is considered the key ingredient needed for rising living standards because it allows companies to pay their workers more without having to raise the price of their products, which fuels inflation.

Editor: Yan