Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Productivity and Costs
The increase in nonfarm business sector productivity during the third quarter of this year, which is measured as real output per hour of all persons, was revised up from 1.9 percent (annualized) to 2.9 percent. This follows changes of −0.5 percent and 1.9 percent in the first and second quarters, respectively. Over the past year, productivity is up 1.7 percent. The improvement in productivity came from a 4.2 percent increase in output (revised up from 3.2 percent), while hours increased just 1.3 percent. Following gains of 5.8 percent and 1.3 percent in the first two quarters of the year, hourly compensation increased 0.9 percent during the third quarter (revised down from 1.8 percent). However, after controlling for price changes, “real” hourly compensation fell 1.4 percent (revised down from a 0.4 percent decline). Over the past year, “real” compensation per hour is basically flat, increasing just 0.1 percent. Unit labor costs, which is measured as hourly compensation per hourly output, fell 0.5 percent during the third quarter (revised down from zero), and over the past twelve months, is up just 0.1 percent.