Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Productivity and Costs
Nonfarm business sector productivity—real output per hour of all persons—increased at an annualized rate of 1.6 percent in the second quarter of 2012, following a 0.5 percent decline in the first quarter. On a year-over-year basis, productivity is up 1.1 percent. The release also included annual revisions which revealed a growth rate in productivity of 2.9 percent in 2009, 3.1 percent in 2010 (revised down from 4.0 percent), and 0.7 percent in 2011 (revised up from 0.4 percent).The quarterly increase in productivity was caused by a 2.0 percent increase in real output compared with only a 0.4 percent increase in hours worked. This is the lowest quarterly increase in hours worked since the fourth quarter of 2009. Since the second quarter of 2011, output is up 2.9 percent, while hours are up 1.8 percent. Hourly compensation increased 3.3 percent in the second quarter, following a 5.1 percent increase in the first quarter. After controlling for price changes, real hourly compensation was up 2.6 percent. However, on a year-over-year basis, real compensation is flat. Unit labor costs were up 1.7 percent during the quarter, and are up 0.8 percent since last year. Based on the annual revisions, unit labor costs declined 1.5 percent in 2009, declined 1.0 percent in 2010, and increased 2.0 percent in 2011.