Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Productivity and Costs
According to the preliminary estimate, nonfarm business sector productivity— real output per hour of all persons— increased at an annualized rate of 1.9 percent in the third quarter of 2013. This follows a 1.8 percent increase in the second quarter and a 1.7 percent decline in the first. A 3.7 percent increase in output contributed to the improvement in productivity, which was partially offset by a 1.7 percent increase in hours. On a year-over-year basis, nonfarm business sector productivity has been flat, as both output and hours have increased 1.8 percent. Real hourly compensation, which is compensation per hour after controlling for price changes, declined 1.3 percent in the third quarter, following a 2.3 percent increase in the second quarter. Inflation-adjusted hourly compensation has increased 0.3 percent over the past year. Unit labor costs, which are measured as hourly compensation per hourly output, declined 0.6 percent in the third quarter, following a decrease of 3.5 percent in the first quarter and a 0.5 percent increase in the second. On a year-over-year basis, unit labor costs have increased 1.9 percent.