Job creation is lacking — with unemployment at 9.6 percent — and is a key ingredient to the nation's economic recovery. More hiring would give workers more money to spend, fueling the sluggish recovery. Consumer spending represents about 70 percent of the economy and has severely lagged.
The government's jobs report for October is due out Friday.
The 1.9 percent increase in productivity is still well below 3.5 percent for all of 2009, the biggest advance in six years. Productivity is the amount of output per work hour.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday announced it would buy an additional $600 billion in Treasuries to spur economic growth.