Bureau of Labor Statistics

Unit labor costs drop in 50 manufacturing industries

May 22, 2001

From 1998 to 1999, unit labor costs declined in 50 of 119 manufacturing industries measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Percent changes in unit labor costs, selected manufacturing industries, 1998-99
[Chart data—TXT]

The largest declines in unit labor costs in 1999 were in the following industries: computer and office equipment (-24.8 percent); women's and children's undergarments (-22.9 percent); electronic components and accessories (-21.7 percent); and photographic equipment and supplies (-14.3 percent).

Unit labor costs—the cost of the labor input required to produce one unit of output—are computed by dividing total compensation by real output.

This information is from the Industry Productivity Program. Data are subject to revision. Industries discussed in this article are at the 3-digit level of the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Manual. Additional information is available from "Productivity and Costs: Manufacturing Industries, 1990-99" news release USDL 01-141.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unit labor costs drop in 50 manufacturing industries at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2001/may/wk3/art02.htm (visited December 04, 2021).

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