Productivity and Costs, First Quarter 2015, Revised



Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until        USDL 15-1056             
8:30 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, June 4, 2015

Technical information: (202) 691-5606    dprweb@bls.gov  www.bls.gov/lpc
Media contact          (202) 691-5902    PressOffice@bls.gov




                                PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS
                             First Quarter 2015, Revised



Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased at a 3.1 percent annual 
rate during the first quarter of 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 
reported today, as output declined 1.6 percent and hours worked increased 
1.6 percent. (All quarterly percent changes in this release are seasonally 
adjusted annual rates.) The decline in productivity follows a decline of 2.1 
percent in the fourth quarter of 2014. From the first quarter of 2014 to the 
first quarter of 2015, productivity increased 0.3 percent, reflecting 
increases in output and hours worked of 3.2 percent and 2.8 percent, 
respectively. (See table A.) 

Labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index of
real output by an index of hours worked of all persons, including employees,
proprietors, and unpaid family workers. The measures released today are based
on more recent source data than were available for the preliminary report.  

Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 6.7 percent in the 
first quarter of 2015, reflecting a 3.3 percent increase in hourly 
compensation and a 3.1 percent decline in productivity. Unit labor costs 
increased 1.8 percent over the last four quarters. (See tables A and 2.) 

BLS calculates unit labor costs as the ratio of hourly compensation to labor 
productivity; increases in hourly compensation tend to increase unit labor 
costs and increases in output per hour tend to reduce them.

Manufacturing sector labor productivity decreased 1.0 percent in the first 
quarter of 2015, as output decreased 1.1 percent and hours worked edged down 
0.1 percent. Productivity decreased 3.3 percent in the durable manufacturing 
sector and increased 1.5 percent in the nondurable goods sector. (See tables 
A, 3, 4, and 5.) Over the last four quarters, manufacturing productivity 
increased 1.5 percent, as output increased 3.8 percent and hours increased 
2.3 percent. Unit labor costs in manufacturing increased 3.4 percent in the 
first quarter of 2015 and increased 0.2 percent from the same quarter a year 
ago. (See tables A and 3.)        

The concepts, sources, and methods used for the manufacturing output series 
differ from those used in the business and nonfarm business output series; 
these output measures are not directly comparable. See Technical Notes for a 
more detailed explanation.  

Preliminary first quarter 2015 measures were announced today for the 
nonfinancial corporate sector. Productivity decreased 1.2 percent in the 
first quarter of 2015 and increased 1.7 percent over the last four quarters. 
(See tables C and 6.) 

Revised measures

Table B presents previous and revised productivity and related measures 
for the business, nonfarm business, and manufacturing sectors, for the 
first quarter of 2015 and the fourth quarter of 2014. 

In the first quarter of 2015, nonfarm business productivity fell 3.1 percent,
a greater decline than was reported in the preliminary estimate. The revised
estimate reflects a 1.4 percentage point downward revision to output and a
small downward revision to hours. Unit labor costs were revised up as the 
result of a 1.2 percentage point downward revision to productivity and a 0.2
percentage point upward revision to hourly compensation. In the manufacturing
sector, productivity in the first quarter declined 1.0 percent, slightly less
than the preliminary estimate. Unit labor costs increased 3.4 percent, rather
than 2.7 percent as previously reported, due to a 0.9 percentage point upward
revision to hourly compensation.
 
In the fourth quarter of 2014, the 2.1 percent decrease in nonfarm business 
productivity was unrevised from the May 6 release, while manufacturing 
productivity was revised slightly up. For both sectors, an upward revision to
hourly compensation accounted for the upward revision to unit labor costs. 

In the nonfinancial corporate sector, fourth-quarter 2014 productivity 
increased 3.4 percent, rather than 2.5 percent as previously reported. (See 
table C.)

Complete annual and quarterly data series can be found on the Productivity and 
Costs home page: www.bls.gov/lpc/#data.
______________  







The preliminary Productivity and Costs news release for second-quarter 2015 is
scheduled to be released on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).






======================================================================================================
Table A. Revised first-quarter 2015 measures: percent change from previous quarter at annual rate 
(Q to Q) and from same quarter a year ago (Y to Y)

Sector                    Nonfarm                                        Durable         Nondurable
                          Business         Business      Manufacturing   Manufacturing   Manufacturing
                       Q to Q   Y to Y  Q to Q  Y to Y  Q to Q  Y to Y  Q to Q  Y to Y  Q to Q  Y to Y
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
Productivity           -3.1      0.3    -3.1     0.2    -1.0     1.5    -3.3     1.2     1.5     2.2
Output                 -1.6      3.2    -1.3     3.3    -1.1     3.8    -3.7     4.1     2.1     3.5
Hours                   1.6      2.8     1.9     3.2    -0.1     2.3    -0.5     2.8     0.6     1.3
Hourly
 compensation           3.3      2.1     3.1     1.8     2.4     1.7     2.4     1.5     2.5     1.9
Real hourly
 compensation           6.5      2.2     6.3     1.9     5.5     1.8     5.5     1.6     5.7     1.9
Unit labor
 costs                  6.7      1.8     6.4     1.6     3.4     0.2     5.9     0.3     1.0    -0.3
======================================================================================================
Table B. Revised and previous measures: first quarter 2015 and fourth quarter 2014

Sector            Nonfarm                                             Durable           Nondurable
                  Business         Business         Manufacturing     Manufacturing     Manufacturing
              Revised Previous  Revised Previous  Revised Previous  Revised Previous  Revised Previous
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Percent change from previous quarter, annual rate, first quarter 2015
Productivity    -3.1    -1.9     -3.1     -1.9     -1.0     -1.1      -3.3     -2.3     1.5      0.0
Output          -1.6    -0.2     -1.3      0.1     -1.1     -1.2      -3.7     -2.7     2.1      0.5
Hours            1.6     1.7      1.9      2.1     -0.1     -0.1      -0.5     -0.4     0.6      0.5
Hourly 
 compensation    3.3     3.1      3.1      2.8      2.4      1.5       2.4      1.3     2.5      2.0
Real hourly 
 compensation    6.5     6.2      6.3      6.0      5.5      4.6       5.5      4.4     5.7      5.2
Unit labor 
 costs           6.7     5.0      6.4      4.8      3.4      2.7       5.9      3.7     1.0      2.0
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
                   Percent change from previous quarter, annual rate, fourth quarter 2014
Productivity    -2.1    -2.1     -2.3     -2.3      0.0     -0.1       0.3      0.1    -0.9     -0.9
Output           2.6     2.6      2.8      2.8      4.4      4.3       3.6      3.4     5.4      5.3
Hours            4.9     4.9      5.2      5.2      4.4      4.4       3.3      3.3     6.3      6.3
Hourly 
 compensation    3.4     1.9      3.1      1.6      4.2      1.4       5.0      1.2     2.9      1.9
Real hourly 
 compensation    4.2     2.8      3.9      2.5      5.1      2.2       5.9      2.0     3.7      2.7
Unit labor 
 costs           5.6     4.2      5.5      4.0      4.2      1.5       4.8      1.1     3.8      2.9
======================================================================================================
Table C.  Nonfinancial corporations: preliminary first-quarter 2015 and revised fourth-quarter 2014 
 productivity and cost measures
                                                          Real 
                                             Hourly       hourly       Unit                   Implicit
               Produc-                       compen-      compen-      labor      Unit        price
               tivity    Output    Hours     sation       sation       costs      profits     deflator
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                          
                                Percent change, annual rate, first quarter 2015
Q to Q          -1.2      0.6       1.8        3.4          6.5          4.6        -27.8       -1.2
Y to Y           1.7      5.0       3.2        1.8          1.9          0.1          2.4       -0.1
                                Percent change, annual rate, fourth quarter 2014                        
Q to Q Revised   3.4      7.5       3.9        3.1          3.9         -0.3         -1.6       -1.5
Q to Q Previous  2.5      6.6       3.9        1.6          2.4         -0.9         -0.8       -1.5 
======================================================================================================  

The PDF version of the news release

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: June 04, 2015