Sharp decline in manufacturing labor costs in first quarter
June 06, 2002
Unit labor costs in the manufacturing sector fell at an annual rate of 6.4 percent (seasonally adjusted) in the first quarter of 2002.
This decline in unit labor costs resulted from a combination of a 9.4-percent rise in manufacturing productivity and a 2.4-percent increase in hourly compensation. The last time unit labor costs fell this much in one quarter was in the second quarter of 1961, when they fell 6.9 percent.
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 can also be expressed as the ratio of hourly compensation to labor productivity.
These data are a product of the BLS Productivity and Costs program. Data are subject to revision. Additional information is available in "Productivity and Costs, First Quarter 2002 (revised), (PDF) (TXT) news release USDL 02-318.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Sharp decline in manufacturing labor costs in first quarter on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2002/jun/wk1/art04.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.