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ECON: Productivity Slightly Lower, Labor Costs Slightly Higher Than Expected
Posted to: Micro News
Thursday, March 07, 2013 8:45 AM
- Q4 productivity -1.9 vs -1.6 forecast
- Labor Costs +4.6 vs +4.3 pct forecast
- Market reaction: least of the 3 reports. All about Claims and Draghi
Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased at a 1.9 percent
annual rate during the fourth quarter of 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. The decrease in productivity reflects increases
of 0.5 percent in output and 2.5 percent in hours worked. (All quarterly
percent changes in this release are seasonally adjusted annual rates.)
From the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012,
productivity increased 0.5 percent as output and hours worked increased
2.5 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. Annual average
productivity increased 0.7 percent from 2011 to 2012.
Labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index
of real output by an index of hours worked of all persons, including
employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers. The measures released
today were based on more recent source data than were available for the
Unit labor costs in nonfarm businesses increased 4.6 percent in the fourth
quarter of 2012, the combined effect of the 1.9 percent decrease in
productivity and a 2.6 percent increase in hourly compensation. Unit labor
costs rose 2.1 percent over the last four quarters.
BLS defines unit labor costs as the ratio of hourly compensation to labor
productivity; increases in hourly compensation tend to increase unit labor
costs and increases in output per hour tend to reduce them.
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