March 07, 2008
Unit labor costs in manufacturing increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent (seasonally adjusted) in the fourth quarter of 2007, after falling 3.3 percent in the third quarter.
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. Manufacturing hourly compensation grew at a 4.4 percent annual rate during the fourth quarter of 2007 and productivity increased 2.3 percent.
These data are from the BLS Productivity and Costs program. Data in this report are seasonally adjusted annual rates. These estimates are subject to revision. Additional information is available in "Productivity and Costs, Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages, 2007 Revised" (PDF) (HTML), news release USDL 08-0293.