Summary Box: Productivity up, labor costs down

PRODUCTIVITY UP: Productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, rose at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the final three months of 2010.

LABOR COSTS DOWN: Labor costs fell 1.5 percent in 2010 after a 1.6 percent drop in 2009, the first back-to-back declines since 1962 and 1963.

OUTLOOK: Economists believe the two-year boom in productivity will come to an end in 2011 as businesses begin hiring back laid off workers. Some are looking for productivity to grow just 1.5 percent in 2011, less than half the increases of 2009 and 2010.