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Nonfarm business productivity up 1.3 percent third quarter 2017 to 2018

November 05, 2018

From the third quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2018, nonfarm business productivity increased 1.3 percent, reflecting a 3.7-percent increase in output and a 2.4-percent increase in hours worked. 

Productivity and costs by sector, percent change from 3rd quarter 2017 to 3rd quarter 2018
Measure Business Nonfarm business Manufacturing Durable goods Nondurable goods

Labor productivity (output per hour)

1.2% 1.3% 1.3% 1.6% 1.2%


3.6 3.7 3.4 4.0 2.7

Hours worked

2.4 2.4 2.1 2.4 1.5

Unit labor costs

1.5 1.5 0.9 1.1 0.0

Hourly compensation

2.8 2.8 2.2 2.7 1.2

Real hourly compensation

0.1 0.1 -0.4 0.1 -1.4

Over the last four quarters, total manufacturing sector productivity increased 1.3 percent, as output increased 3.4 percent and hours worked increased 2.1 percent. Unit labor costs in manufacturing increased 0.9 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

These data are from the Labor Productivity and Costs program. To learn more, see Productivity and Costs — Third Quarter 2018. Also see Charts related to the latest "Productivity and Costs" news release. Labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of hours worked by all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Nonfarm business productivity up 1.3 percent third quarter 2017 to 2018 at (visited July 12, 2024).

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