Thursday, February 06, 2014


[IWS] BLS: PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages 2013, Preliminary [6 February 2014]

IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau



PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages 2013, Preliminary [6 February 2014]


[full-text, 12 pages]


Supplemental Files Table of Contents



Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased at a 3.2 percent

annual rate during the fourth quarter of 2013, the U.S. Bureau of

Labor Statistics reported today. The increase in productivity

reflects increases of 4.9 percent in output and 1.7 percent in hours

worked. (All quarterly percent changes in this release are seasonally

adjusted annual rates.) From the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth

quarter of 2013, productivity increased 1.7 percent as output and

hours worked rose 3.3 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. (See

table A.) Annual average productivity increased 0.6 percent from 2012

to 2013. (See table C.)


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.    


Unit labor costs in nonfarm businesses decreased 1.6 percent in the

fourth quarter of 2013, as the 3.2 percent increase in productivity

was larger than a 1.5 percent increase in hourly compensation. Unit

labor costs fell 1.3 percent over the last four quarters. (See table



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



Manufacturing sector productivity increased 2.0 percent in the fourth

quarter of 2013, as output and hours worked increased 6.6 percent and

4.4 percent, respectively. Productivity increased 3.4 percent in the

durable goods sector and increased 1.0 percent in the nondurable

goods sector. Over the last four quarters, manufacturing productivity

increased 2.1 percent, as output increased 3.3 percent and hours

increased 1.2 percent. Unit labor costs in manufacturing fell 1.0

percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 and declined 0.9 percent from

the same quarter a year ago. (See tables A and 3.) Nonfinancial

corporate sector productivity decreased 0.5 percent in the third

quarter of 2013. (See table D.)


AND MUCH MORE...including TABLES....




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