Unit labor costs fall in 1990s in U.S. auto industry
September 14, 1999
The motor vehicles and equipment industry throttled down labor costs during the current economic expansion. In three major segments of the industry—motor vehicle assembly, parts manufacturing, and automotive stampings—unit labor costs were lower in 1998 than they were in 1991.
From 1991 to 1998, unit labor costs of motor vehicle assemblers declined 0.9 percent per year. During the same period, parts manufacturers cut unit labor costs by 2.0 percent annually, on average. The automotive stampings industry had even greater success in cost-cutting, reducing unit labor costs by 4.4 percent per year.
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, Unit labor costs fall in 1990s in U.S. auto industry on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/sept/wk3/art02.htm (visited January 27, 2021).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
- Occupational Employment and Wages in Metro and Nonmetro Areas
Examines similarities and differences in employment and wages between metro and nonmetro areas.
- Gulf War Era Veterans in the Labor Force
Examines the demographic, employment, and unemployment characteristics of civilians who served in the U.S. military during Gulf War era.
- Using BLS Data to Match People with Disabilities with Jobs Presents data that can help increase access and opportunity for people with disabilities in the nation’s labor market.
- How Women and Aging Affect Trends in Labor Force Growth Examines how women’s labor force participation and the aging of the U.S. population affect trends in labor force growth.