U.S. productivity climbs 3.2% in fourth quarter WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - U.S. productivity in the fourth quarter grew at a 3.2% annual rate, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast productivity to rise 3.4% compared to an upwardly revised 3.6% gain in the third quarter. The gains in productivity over the past two quarters were the highest since the second half of 2009 when the U.S. was emerging from recession. Output of goods and services jumped 4.9% in the fourth quarter, while hours worked rose 1.7%. Unit-labor costs fell 1.6%. Hourly wages of American workers advanced at a 1.5% annual rate in the final three months of 2013. Adjusted for inflation, they rose a smaller 0.6%. In the manufacturing sector, productivity increased by 2.0%. For all of 2013, productivity rose 0.6%.