Labor productivity of the US nonfarm business sector, the measure of employee output per hour, rose at a 1.9 percent annual rate in the third quarter, following a 1.8 percent increase in the prior three months, official figures showed Thursday. Both employee output and working hours, two crucial elements of productivity, rose 3.7 percent and 1.7 percent in the third quarter, respectively, while unit labor costs decreased 0.6 percent, according to a US Labor Department report. Meanwhile, US manufacturing sector productivity increased 0.4 percent, as output advanced 1.3 percent and hours worked rose 0.8 percent, the report said. Over the past four quarters, manufacturing productivity grew 2.3 percent. Increasing productivity can slow job creation because it means companies can get more out of exiting staff without hiring more workers.