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Economic News Release
PRINT:Print

First Quarter 2024, Preliminary



Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                                 USDL 24-0795
8:30 a.m. (ET) Thursday, May 2, 2024

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

                                     PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS
                                 First Quarter 2024, Preliminary

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2024, the U.S. 
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, as output increased 1.3 percent and hours worked increased 
1.0 percent. (All quarterly percent changes in this release are seasonally adjusted annual rates.) From the 
same quarter a year ago, nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 2.9 percent. (See table 
A1.)

Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 4.7 percent in the first quarter of 2024, 
reflecting a 5.0-percent increase in hourly compensation and a 0.3-percent increase in productivity. Unit 
labor costs increased 1.8 percent over the last four quarters. (See tables A1 and 2.) 

=========================================================================================================================
                                  Correction to March 7, 2024 Release

Hours worked and related series, including labor productivity, were incorrect in the Productivity and 
Costs (R) Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages 2023 news release published March 7, 2024, as well as 
in the related data tables, charts, and database. Data for all sectors have been corrected from 2019 Q1-
2023 Q4 with this release and all references to "previously published" values in this release reflect these 
corrections. More information can be found at: www.bls.gov/bls/errata/corrected-hours-worked-and-
labor-productivity-for-labor-productivity-and-costs.htm.
=========================================================================================================================

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 productivity tend to reduce them. 
Real hourly compensation, which takes into account consumer prices, increased 1.1 percent in the first 
quarter of 2024, and increased 1.5 percent over the last four quarters.

Labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of 
hours worked by all workers, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers. During the 
current business cycle, starting in the fourth quarter of 2019, labor productivity has grown at an annual 
rate of 1.5 percent, reflecting a 2.2-percent rate of growth in output and a 0.7-percent rate of growth in 
hours worked during the business cycle. The 1.5-percent annual rate of productivity growth in the 
current business cycle thus far is the same as the 1.5 percent rate of the previous business cycle from the 
fourth quarter of 2007 through the fourth quarter of 2019, and is below the long-term rate since the first 
quarter of 1947 (2.1 percent).

Manufacturing sector labor productivity increased 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2024, as output 
was unchanged and hours worked decreased 0.2 percent. In the durable manufacturing sector, 
productivity increased 1.2 percent, reflecting a 0.4-percent increase in output and a 0.8-percent decrease 
in hours worked. Nondurable manufacturing sector productivity decreased 1.3 percent as output 
decreased 0.4 percent and hours worked increased 0.9 percent. Total manufacturing sector productivity 
increased 1.2 percent from the same quarter a year ago. (See tables A1, 3, 4, and 5.)

Unit labor costs in the total manufacturing sector increased 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2024, 
reflecting a 3.4-percent increase in hourly compensation and a 0.2-percent increase in productivity. 
Manufacturing unit labor costs increased 5.0 percent from the same quarter a year ago, reflecting an 
increase of 1.2 percent in labor productivity and an increase of 6.3 percent in hourly compensation. Real 
hourly compensation increased 3.0 percent from the same quarter a year ago. (See tables A1 and 3.)

Manufacturing sector labor productivity has grown at an annual rate of 0.3 percent during the current 
business cycle, as output has grown 0.1 percent and hours have declined 0.2 percent. The 0.3-percent 
annual rate of productivity growth in the current business cycle thus far is above the 0.0-percent rate of 
the previous business cycle from the fourth quarter of 2007 through the fourth quarter of 2019, and is 
below the long-term rate since the first quarter of 1987 (2.1 percent).

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 
the Technical Notes for a more detailed explanation. 

Preliminary fourth-quarter and annual 2023 measures were announced today for the nonfinancial 
corporate sector. Productivity increased 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023, as output increased 
8.1 percent and hours worked increased 0.2 percent. From the fourth quarter of 2022 to the fourth 
quarter of 2023, nonfinancial corporate sector productivity increased 3.6 percent. 

Table C1 presents annual average changes for the most recent 5 years for the nonfinancial corporate 
sector. Nonfinancial corporate sector productivity increased 1.4 percent in 2023, as output increased 
2.9 percent and hours worked increased 1.5 percent. (See tables A2, C1, and 6.)

Revised measures        

Hours and related measures--including labor productivity and hourly compensation--for all sectors 
were revised to incorporate updated ratios of hours worked to hours paid by detailed industry, provided 
by the BLS National Compensation Survey; indexes were subject to revision back to 2015. Measures of 
real hourly compensation for all sectors were also subject to revision due to the incorporation of the 
revised Consumer Price Index Retroactive Series. Third quarter, fourth quarter, and annual average data 
for 2023 were revised to incorporate regular updates of source data on output and compensation 
published by the Department of Commerce on April 25, 2024, and data on manufacturing output 
published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on April 16, 2024.

Table B1 presents previous and revised productivity and related measures for the business, nonfarm 
business, and manufacturing sectors for the fourth quarter of 2023.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, nonfarm business sector productivity was revised up 0.2 percentage 
point to an increase of 3.5 percent, reflecting a 0.3-percentage point upward revision to output; hours 
worked were not revised. Nonfarm business unit labor costs were revised down 0.4 percentage point to 
0.0 percent. Total manufacturing sector productivity was revised up 0.9 percentage point to an increase 
of 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023, reflecting a 1.0-percentage point upward revision to output 
and a 0.2-percentage point upward revision to hours worked. Unit labor costs in the manufacturing 
sector were revised down 1.1 percentage point to an increase of 4.2 percent during the fourth quarter of 
2023. Labor productivity was revised up 1.2 percentage point in the durable manufacturing sector to an 
increase of 0.5 percent. In the nondurable manufacturing sector, labor productivity was revised up 0.7 
percentage point to an increase of 4.7 percent. (See table B1.)

The annual average rate of productivity growth in the nonfarm business sector in 2023 was revised up 
0.1-percentage point to an increase of 1.4 percent. For the manufacturing sector, annual average 
productivity in 2023 was also revised up 0.1-percentage point, to a decline of 0.6 percent. (See tables 2 
and 3.)

Quarterly and annual data for all sectors from 2022 forward appear in tables 1-6. Full historical 
measures can be found on the Productivity and Costs home page: www.bls.gov/productivity/tables/.
______________
The revised Productivity and Costs news release for first-quarter 2024 is scheduled to be released 
on Thursday, June 6, 2024, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).



=========================================================================================================================
Table A1. Labor productivity growth and related measures - preliminary first-quarter 2024
(percent change from previous quarter at annual rate and from same quarter a year ago)


                                                Labor                   Hours    Hourly         Real hourly    Unit labor
Sector                  Percent change from:    productivity   Output   worked   compensation   compensation   costs
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nonfarm business        Previous quarter            0.3          1.3      1.0        5.0            1.1           4.7
                        A year ago                  2.9          3.2      0.3        4.7            1.5           1.8
                        
Business                Previous quarter            0.3          1.2      0.9        5.0            1.2           4.7
                        A year ago                  2.8          3.1      0.3        4.7            1.4           1.8
                        
Manufacturing           Previous quarter            0.2          0.0     -0.2        3.4           -0.4           3.2
                        A Year ago                  1.2         -0.1     -1.3        6.3            3.0           5.0

 Durable                Previous quarter            1.2          0.4     -0.8        5.5            1.7           4.3
 manufacturing          A year ago                  1.4          0.6     -0.7        7.7            4.3           6.2

 Nondurable             Previous quarter           -1.3         -0.4      0.9       -0.7           -4.3           0.6
 manufacturing          A year ago                  1.5         -0.9     -2.4        3.5            0.2           1.9
=========================================================================================================================


=========================================================================================================================
Table A2. Labor productivity growth and related measures - preliminary fourth-quarter 2023
(percent change from previous quarter at annual rate and from same quarter a year ago)


                                                Labor                   Hours    Hourly         Real hourly    Unit labor
Sector                  Percent change from:    productivity   Output   worked   compensation   compensation   costs
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nonfinancial            Previous Quarter            7.9          8.1      0.2         3.9           1.2          -3.7
corporate               A year ago                  3.6          4.3      0.7         5.6           2.3           1.9
=========================================================================================================================


=========================================================================================================================
Table B1. Labor productivity growth and related measures - revised fourth-quarter 2023
(percent change from previous quarter at annual rate)


                                                Labor                   Hours    Hourly         Real hourly    Unit labor
Sector                                          productivity   Output   worked   compensation   compensation   costs
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nonfarm business        Revised                     3.5          3.8      0.2         3.5           0.8           0.0
                   Previously published             3.3          3.5      0.2         3.7           0.9           0.4
                        
Business                Revised                     3.6          3.7      0.1         3.7           1.0           0.1
                   Previously published             3.4          3.5      0.1         3.9           1.1           0.4
                                                                                              
Manufacturing           Revised                     2.4         -1.0     -3.3         6.8           4.0           4.2
                   Previously published             1.5         -2.0     -3.5         6.9           4.1           5.3

 Durable                Revised                     0.5         -2.5     -3.0         9.5           6.6           9.0
 manufacturing     Previously published            -0.7         -4.0     -3.3         9.8           6.9          10.6
                        
 Nondurable             Revised                     4.7          0.6     -4.0         1.5          -1.2          -3.1
 manufacturing     Previously published             4.0          0.0     -3.8         1.5          -1.2          -2.5
=========================================================================================================================


=========================================================================================================================
Table C1. Labor productivity growth and related measures - annual average changes: 2019-2023


                                                Labor                   Hours    Hourly         Real hourly    Unit labor
Sector                  Year                    productivity   Output   worked   compensation   compensation   costs
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nonfinancial            2023                        1.4          2.9      1.5         4.8           0.7           3.4
corporate               2022                       -1.0          3.1      4.2         4.1          -3.7           5.2
                        2021                        3.7          9.0      5.1         4.7          -0.1           1.0
                        2020                        3.4         -4.2     -7.3         8.0           6.6           4.5
                        2019                        1.6          2.5      0.9         3.9           2.1           2.3
=========================================================================================================================
Last Modified Date: May 02, 2024