Labor costs in wholesale trade

July 05, 2002

In the wholesale trade industry, unit labor costs rose 0.6 percent per year between 1990 and 1995 and 0.9 percent per year between 1995 and 2000.

Annual percent change in unit labor costs, wholesale trade industries, 1990-1995 and 1995-2000
[Chart data—TXT]

In durable-goods wholesale trade, unit labor costs fell at an annual rate of 1.5 percent from 1990 to 1995 and at an annual rate of 0.8 percent in 1995-2000. In contrast, in nondurable-goods wholesale trade, labor costs rose at an annual rate of 3.3 percent in the 1990-1995 period and at an annual rate of 3.0 percent between 1995 and 2000.

The wholesale trade sector includes establishments involved in selling merchandise to retailers; to industrial, commercial, institutional, farm, construction contractors, or professional business users; or acting as brokers in purchases or sales of merchandise between businesses.

This information is from the BLS Productivity and Costs Program. Data are subject to revision. Learn more in "BLS Releases New Series on Productivity and Costs in Wholesale Trade Industries, 1990-2000," news release USDL 02-347. Unit labor costs—the cost of the labor input required to produce one unit of output—are computed by dividing labor costs in nominal terms by real output. Unit labor costs also can be expressed as the ratio of hourly compensation to labor productivity.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor costs in wholesale trade on the Internet at (visited September 26, 2016).


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