Unit labor costs down in fourth quarter of 2001

March 14, 2002

Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector fell at seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2001, after rising 2.6 percent in both the second and third quarters.

Percent change in unit labor costs, nonfarm business, seasonally adjusted, 2000 I-2001 IV (percent change from previous quarter at annual rate)
[Chart data—TXT]

The 2.7-percent decline in unit labor costs in the fourth quarter was the result of a 2.3-percent increase in hourly compensation and a 5.2-percent increase in labor productivity.

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 can also be expressed as the ratio of hourly compensation to labor productivity.

These data are a product of the BLS Productivity and Costsprogram. Data are subject to revision. Additional information is available in "Productivity and Costs, Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages, 2001 (revised)," news release USDL 02-123.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unit labor costs down in fourth quarter of 2001 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2002/mar/wk2/art04.htm (visited October 23, 2014).

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