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 0.9 percent in the second quarter of 2013, according to the preliminary estimate. This follows 1.7 percent declines in each of the two previous quarters. The increase during the second quarter was primarily caused by a 2.6 percent increase in output, while hours increased just 1.7 percent. On a year-over-year basis, nonfarm business sector productivity was flat in the second quarter. Compensation per hour increased 4.0 percent during the second quarter after a 4.5 percent decline in the first. After controlling for price changes, real compensation per hour increased 2.3 percent during the quarter and on a year-over-year basis, is up just 0.1 percent. Unit labor costs, which are measured as hourly compensation per hourly output, increased 1.4 percent in the second quarter after an 11.8 percent increase in the fourth quarter of last year and a 4.2 percent decline in the first quarter of this year. Over the past four quarters, unit labor costs are up 1.6 percent.