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 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2013, according to the preliminary estimate. This follows a 1.7 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2012, and on a year-over-year basis, productivity is up 0.9 percent. Real output increased at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent through the first three months of the year, while hours increased 1.8 percent, leading to the overall improvement in productivity. Over the past year, output and hours are up 2.5 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. Compensation per hour increased at a rate of 1.2 percent in the first quarter. However, after controlling for price changes, real hourly compensation fell 0.3 percent. Since the first quarter of last year, real compensation has been basically flat, down just 0.1 percent. Unit labor costs, which are measured as hourly compensation per hourly output, increased 0.5 percent in the first quarter, following a 1.9 percent decline and a 4.4 percent increase in the third and fourth quarters of last year, respectively, and are up 0.6 percent since the first quarter of 2012.