Unit labor costs and real hourly compensation, 2011
March 08, 2012
For 2011, in both the nonfarm business and manufacturing sectors, annual average growth in unit labor costs was revised upward; this was due to upward revisions to hourly compensation and downward revisions to productivity.
In the nonfarm business sector, unit labor costs rose 2.0 percent in 2011 and declined 0.8 percent in the manufacturing sector.
In 2011, real hourly compensation, which takes into account changes in consumer prices, decreased 0.7 percent in the nonfarm business sector. This is the largest annual decline in the measure since a 1.7-percent decline in 1989.
Real hourly compensation in the manufacturing sector decreased 1.3 percent in 2011, the largest decline in the measure since a 1.9-percent decline in 2004.
These data are from the Productivity and Costs program and are subject to revision. Labor compensation includes accrued wages and salaries, supplements, employer contributions to employee benefit plans, and taxes. Unit labor costs describe the relationship between compensation per hour and productivity, or real output per hour, and can be used as an indicator of inflationary pressure on producers. For more information, see "Productivity and Costs: Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages 2011, Revised" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-12-0401.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unit labor costs and real hourly compensation, 2011 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20120308.htm (visited October 22, 2014).
Three recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Housing: before, during, and after the Great Recession
looks at consumer expenditures on household items, employment in residential construction, prices for household items, and injuries in occupations involved in building and maintaining our homes.
Women veterans in the labor force examines the demographic, employment, and unemployment characteristics of women veterans.
BLS Statistics by Occupation provides an overview of occupational employment and wages with an emphasis on STEM jobs and occupational data by typical entry-level education required.