WASHINGTON—Worker productivity rose in the third quarter by the largest amount in more than a year.

This was a result of businesses, coping with the sour economy, cutting workers’ hours at the fastest pace in a decade. Businesses cut workers’ hours at a 3.6 percent rate.

Productivity, which is the amount of output per hour of work, increased at an annual rate of 2.7 percent in the third quarter. This is an increase over the 2.2 percent growth rate in the second quarter. It is also the biggest increase since the second quarter of 2000, when productivity soared by 6.3 percent.