(Adds details of release, background)
OTTAWA, Sept 2 The labor productivity of
Canadian businesses in the second quarter of 2016 fell by 0.3
percent, reflecting the damage caused by a major wildfire in
Alberta, Statistics Canada said on Friday.
The decline - the first in a year - was slightly less than
the 0.4 percent drop forecast by market analysts in a Reuters
poll. The fire in May forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray in
northern Alberta and the temporary shutdown of several oil sands
Real gross domestic product of businesses fell by 0.8
percent in the second quarter after rising by 0.6 percent in the
first quarter, pulled down by lower activity in the mining,
quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector.
The impact of the fire on that sector also helps explain why
the number of hours worked on production in the business sector
fell by 0.5 percent - the first decrease in two years - after
rising by 0.2 percent the previous quarter, Statscan said.
Overall labor costs per unit of production rose by 0.7
percent as the average pay per hour worked climbed by 0.4
percent and productivity slipped by 0.3 percent.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)