Drop in unit labor costs in manufacturing last year
February 12, 2003
Unit labor costs in manufacturing fell in 2002, by 0.7 percent. This was the first annual drop in unit labor costs since 1999.
The drop in unit labor costs in 2002 was the result of a 3.8-percent increase in hourly compensation and a 4.6-percent increase in labor productivity.
Unit labor costs in durable goods manufacturing declined 1.5 percent in 2002. In contrast, there was with a 0.6-percent rise in unit labor costs in nondurable goods manufacturing.
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, Fourth Quarter 2002" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 03-45.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Drop in unit labor costs in manufacturing last year on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2003/feb/wk2/art03.htm (visited January 23, 2017).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Workplace injuries and illnesses and employer costs for workers’ compensation
Workplace injury and illness data and the costs to employers for workers’ compensation in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.
A look at the future of the U.S. labor force to 2060
Projected long-term trends in the growth, size, and composition of the labor force.
Union membership in the United States
Historical trends in union membership among employed wage and salary workers; union membership by a variety of demographic characteristics.
A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
Spending on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.
Self-employment in the United States
Trends in self-employment by various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, including both the unincorporated and the incorporated self-employed, as well as data on paid employees who work for the self-employed.