June 06, 2011
During the first quarter of 2011, nonfarm business sector labor productivity—as measured by output per hour—increased at an annual rate of 1.8 percent. The gain in productivity reflects increases of 3.2 percent in output and 1.4 percent in hours worked.
Unit labor costs—defined as the ratio of hourly compensation to labor productivity—in nonfarm businesses rose 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2011, as a 2.5-percent increase in hourly compensation outpaced the 1.8-percent gain in productivity. Unit labor costs also rose 0.7 percent from the same quarter a year ago.
From the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011, output increased 3.2 percent while hours rose 1.9 percent, yielding an increase in productivity of 1.3 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, First Quarter 2011, Revised" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-11-0808. Labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of hours of all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers. The revised measures were based on more recent source data than were available for the preliminary report.