U.S. productivity rose at a moderate pace in the April-June quarter as growth picked up and hiring remained steady.

The Labor Department says worker productivity increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.3 percent, up from a drop of 1.1 percent in the first quarter. The first quarter's decline was revised sharply higher from a previous estimate of a 3.1 percent decline.

The second quarter rebound occurred mostly because the economy grew faster: It expanded at a 2.3 percent annual rate, compared with the first quarter's anemic 0.6 percent growth.

Productivity is a gauge of how efficient workers are. It measures the output of goods and services for each hour worked. Strong productivity growth can boost wages and growth. Yet productivity growth has been sluggish since the recession.