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S. Korea's labor productivity dwindles in Q2

South Korea's labor productivity dropped slightly from a year earlier in the second quarter as labor input grew at a faster rate than total output, the government said Sunday.

   The labor productivity index for all industries in the April-July period came to 98.6, down 0.3 percent from the same period in 2012, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

   Labor productivity is measured by dividing total industrial output by total labor input. The figure, however, excludes the fishing and farming sectors, as well as the public service industry.

   Labor productivity for the second quarter dropped as labor input rose 1.9 percent on-year while total industrial output went up only 1.6 percent, the ministry said in a press release.

   "The growth in the overall number of workers somewhat slowed from a year earlier (to 0.8 percent), but the total labor input grew 1.9 percent as the average amount of working hours gained 1.1 percent," it added.

   The drop in labor productivity, however, came mostly from the manufacturing industry, whose labor productivity dropped 1.7 percent, partly reflecting the country's slow-growing exports.

   The labor productivity of the construction industry, on the other hand, improved 6.8 percent on-year, apparently reflecting a growth in their sales helped by government efforts to revitalize the real estate market. (Yonhap News)