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Economic News Release
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Productivity and Costs, Third Quarter 2019, Revised


Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                                   USDL 19-2143
8:30 a.m. (EST) Tuesday, December 10, 2019

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

                                     PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS 
                                  Third Quarter 2019, Revised

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 0.2 percent in the third quarter of 2019, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, as output increased 2.3 percent and hours worked 
increased 2.5 percent. (All quarterly percent changes in this release are seasonally adjusted annual rates.) 
From the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019, productivity increased 1.5 percent, reflecting 
a 2.3-percent increase in output and a 0.9-percent increase in hours worked. (See table A1.) 

Labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of 
hours worked by all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers. 

Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 2.5 percent in the third quarter of 2019, 
reflecting a 2.3-percent increase in compensation per hour and a 0.2-percent decline in productivity. 
Unit labor costs increased 2.2 percent over the last four quarters. (See table 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 increased 0.1 percent in the third quarter of 2019, as output 
increased 1.3 percent and hours worked increased 1.2 percent. Total manufacturing sector productivity 
declined 0.1 percent over the last four quarters, as output decreased 0.5 percent and hours worked 
decreased 0.4 percent. (See tables A1 and 3.) Productivity increased 0.7 percent in the durable 
manufacturing sector in the third quarter of 2019, reflecting a 1.8-percent increase in output and a 1.0-
percent increase in hours worked. Productivity decreased 0.8 percent in the nondurable manufacturing 
sector as output increased 0.8 percent and hours worked increased 1.6 percent. (See tables A1, 4, and 5.) 
Unit labor costs in the total manufacturing sector increased 3.0 percent in the third quarter of 2019, and 
increased 4.4 percent from the same quarter a year ago. 

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 third-quarter 2019 measures of productivity and costs were announced for the nonfinancial 
corporate sector. Productivity increased at a 3.0-percent rate in the third quarter of 2019 and increased 
1.7 percent over the last four quarters. Unit labor costs decreased 0.6 percent in the third quarter of 2019 
and increased 1.7 percent over the last four quarters. Unit profits--a measure available only for the 
nonfinancial corporate sector--decreased 0.8 percent in the third quarter of 2019 and decreased 7.3 
percent over the last four quarters. (See tables A2 and 6.)

Revised measures

Measures released today are based on more recent source data than were available for the preliminary 
report. Regular updates of source data from the BLS, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), and the 
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System are reflected in data for the second and third quarters 
of 2019.
        
Table B1 presents revised and previous productivity and related measures for the nonfarm business, 
business, and manufacturing sectors for the third quarter of 2019. Revised quarterly and annual series 
for all sectors in recent years appear in tables 1-6.

In the third quarter of 2019, nonfarm business labor productivity decreased 0.2 percent rather than the 
preliminary estimate of a decline of 0.3 percent, as a 0.2-percentage point upward revision to output was 
greater than a 0.1-percentage point upward revision to hours worked. Unit labor costs were revised 
down 1.1 percentage points due primarily to a downward revision to hourly compensation. In the 
manufacturing sector, productivity increased 0.1 percent rather than decreasing 0.1 percent as previously 
reported, reflecting an upward revision to output and a downward revision to hours worked. Durable 
manufacturing productivity increased 0.7 percent rather than increasing 1.2 percent as previously 
reported, reflecting a 0.6-percentage point downward revision to output and a 0.2-percentage point 
downward revision to hours worked. Nondurable manufacturing productivity was revised up to a decline 
of 0.8 percent rather than a decline of 1.5 percent as previously reported, primarily due to a 1.0-
percentage point upward revision to output. Total manufacturing unit labor costs were revised down 0.6 
percentage point to an increase of 3.0 percent--the combined effect of the upward revision to 
productivity and a downward revision to hourly compensation. 
        
Table B2 shows previous and revised productivity and related measures for the nonfarm business, 
business, manufacturing and nonfinancial corporate sectors for the second quarter of 2019.
In the second quarter of 2019, labor productivity, output, and hours worked were unrevised for the 
nonfarm business sector. Unit labor costs increased 0.1 percent, rather than increasing 2.4 percent as 
previously reported, due to a downward revision to hourly compensation. Productivity was revised down 
0.1 percentage point in the manufacturing sector, due to a similar downward revision to output. Unit 
labor costs were revised down 1.7 percentage points in the manufacturing sector, primarily due to a 1.8-
percentage point downward revision to hourly compensation. In the nonfinancial corporate sector, 
productivity increased 0.8 percent rather than 2.5 percent as previously reported, due solely to a 
downward revision to output; hours were unrevised. Because hourly compensation was revised down by 
more than productivity, unit labor costs increased 1.4 percent rather than increasing 2.5 percent as 
previously reported.   

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 fourth-quarter and annual averages 2019 
is scheduled to be released on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. (EST).

|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Calendar year 2020 release dates for Productivity and Costs news releases are now available at |
| www.bls.gov/schedule/news_release/prod2.htm.                                                   |
|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

=========================================================================================================================
Table A1. Labor productivity growth and related measures  revised third-quarter 2019
(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           -0.2        2.3      2.5         2.3            0.5           2.5
                          A year ago                  1.5        2.3      0.9         3.7            1.9           2.2
                         
Business                  Previous quarter           -0.2        2.4      2.6         2.3            0.5           2.5
                          A year ago                  1.5        2.4      0.9         3.7            1.9           2.2
                         
Manufacturing             Previous quarter            0.1        1.3      1.2         3.1            1.3           3.0
                          A year ago                 -0.1       -0.5     -0.4         4.3            2.5           4.4
                         
 Durable manufacturing    Previous quarter            0.7        1.8      1.0         2.6            0.8           1.8
                          A year ago                  0.4        0.3     -0.1         4.0            2.2           3.6
                         
 Nondurable manufacturing Previous quarter           -0.8        0.8      1.6         4.2            2.4           5.0
                          A year ago                 -0.4       -1.4     -1.0         4.8            3.0           5.2
=========================================================================================================================


=========================================================================================================================
Table A2. Labor productivity growth and related measures  preliminary third-quarter 2019
(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 corporate   Previous quarter            3.0        3.6      0.6         2.4            0.6          -0.6
                         A year ago                  1.7        2.7      1.0         3.5            1.7           1.7
=========================================================================================================================


=========================================================================================================================
Table B1. Labor productivity growth and related measures  revised and previously published third-quarter 2019
(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                    -0.2        2.3      2.5         2.3            0.5           2.5
                          Previously published       -0.3        2.1      2.4         3.3            1.4           3.6
                         
Business                  Revised                    -0.2        2.4      2.6         2.3            0.5           2.5
                          Previously published       -0.3        2.2      2.5         3.3            1.5           3.6
                         
Manufacturing             Revised                     0.1        1.3      1.2         3.1            1.3           3.0
                          Previously published       -0.1        1.1      1.3         3.5            1.7           3.6
                         
 Durable manufacturing    Revised                     0.7        1.8      1.0         2.6            0.8           1.8
                          Previously published        1.2        2.4      1.2         3.1            1.3           1.9
                         
 Nondurable manufacturing Revised                    -0.8        0.8      1.6         4.2            2.4           5.0
                          Previously published       -1.5       -0.2      1.3         4.3            2.4           5.8
=========================================================================================================================


=========================================================================================================================
Table B2. Labor productivity growth and related measures  revised and previously published second-quarter 2019
(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                     2.5        1.9     -0.5         2.5           -0.4           0.1
                          Previously published        2.5        1.9     -0.5         5.0            2.0           2.4
                         
Business                  Revised                     2.8        2.0     -0.7         2.8           -0.1           0.1
                          Previously published        2.8        2.0     -0.7         5.2            2.3           2.4
                         
Manufacturing             Revised                    -2.5       -3.1     -0.7         2.6           -0.3           5.2
                          Previously published       -2.4       -3.0     -0.7         4.4            1.4           6.9
                         
 Durable manufacturing    Revised                    -1.1       -2.3     -1.2         1.9           -1.0           3.1
                          Previously published       -0.8       -2.0     -1.2         4.7            1.7           5.6
                         
 Nondurable manufacturing Revised                    -4.2       -4.0      0.2         4.1            1.1           8.6
                          Previously published       -4.3       -4.1      0.2         3.9            0.9           8.5
                         
Nonfinancial corporate    Revised                     0.8        1.1      0.3         2.3           -0.6           1.4
                          Previously published        2.5        2.8      0.3         5.1            2.1           2.5
=========================================================================================================================

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Last Modified Date: December 10, 2019