Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Productivity and Costs
Nonfarm business sector productivity—real output per hour of all persons—grew at an annualized rate of 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter. This estimate comes after an upward revision to the initial estimate of 0.7 percent, and incorporates the annual benchmark revision of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics. From the fourth quarter of 2010, productivity grew 0.3 percent. Quarterly productivity benefited from a slight increase in the estimate for output growth and a slight decline in the change to hours worked. Larger revisions were made to hourly compensation, which increased from a 1.9 percent fourth-quarter gain to a 3.7 percent increase. Third quarter hourly compensation was also dramatically revised, switching from a 0.3 percent decrease to a 5.7 percent increase. After adjusting for price changes, real hourly compensation grew 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter and 2.6 percent in the third quarter. These large revisions to hourly compensation pushed unit labor costs up to 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter from the initial estimate of 1.2 percent, and flipped third quarter unit labor costs from a 2.1 percent drop to a 3.9 percent gain. On a year-over-year basis, unit labor costs are now up 3.1 percent.