Unit labor costs fall in fourth quarter
March 15, 2000
Unit labor costs declined in the fourth quarter of 1999 in both the nonfarm business and manufacturing sectors.
In the nonfarm sector, unit labor costs fell at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter. In manufacturing, unit labor costs dropped more rapidly, at a rate of 5.5 percent.
For the year, unit labor costs in the business nonfarm sector grew 1.7 percent in 1999, compared with 2.4 percent in 1998. In contrast, unit labor costs in the manufacturing sector fell 1.4 percent in 1999. Unit labor costs have declined in six of the last eight years in the manufacturing sector.
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.
These data are a product of the BLS Quarterly Labor Productivity program. Data in this article are revised from the figures originally released on February 8, 2000, and are subject to further revision. Additional information is available in "Productivity and Costs, Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages, 1999," news release USDL 00-64. Unit labor costs can also 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 fourth quarter on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2000/mar/wk2/art03.htm (visited January 17, 2018).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Industry on Tap: Breweries
A look at employment, wages, and job safety in breweries and producer prices for beer.
Differences in Parents’ Time Use between the Summer and the School Year
A look at how parents of school-age children spend their time in the summer and the school year.
Hispanics in the United States: Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month
A look at employment, earnings, consumer spending, time use, and workplace injuries and illnesses for the Hispanic or Latino U.S. population.
Expenditures on Admissions to the Arts, Movies, Sporting Events, and Other Entertainment
A look at consumer spending and attendance at arts, sports, and entertainment events.