Thursday, September 04, 2014


[IWS] BLS: PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS Second Quarter 2014, Revised [4 September 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


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PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS Second Quarter 2014, Revised [4 September 2014]


[full-text, 16 pages]


Supplemental Files Table of Contents



Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased at a 2.3 percent annual

rate during the second quarter of 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

reported today, as hours increased 2.6 percent and output increased 5.0

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

adjusted annual rates.) From the second quarter of 2013 to the second quarter

of 2014, productivity increased 1.1 percent as output and hours worked rose

3.2 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively. (See table A.)


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 preliminary



Unit labor costs in nonfarm businesses edged down 0.1 percent in the second

quarter of 2014, and increased 1.7 percent over the last four quarters. (See

tables A and 2.)


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.


Manufacturing sector productivity increased 3.3 percent in the second quarter

of 2014, as output increased 6.9 percent and hours worked increased 3.5

percent. The increase in output was the largest since the second quarter of

2010 (11.6 percent). Productivity increased 3.4 percent in the durable goods

sector and increased 4.7 percent in the nondurable goods sector. Over the

last 4 quarters, manufacturing productivity increased 2.1 percent, as output

increased 3.7 percent and hours increased 1.6 percent. Unit labor costs in

manufacturing decreased 1.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014 and

increased 0.8 percent from the same quarter a year ago. (See tables A and 3.)


The concepts, sources, and methods used for the manufacturing output series

differ from those used in the business and nonfarm business output series;

these output measures are not directly comparable. See Technical Notes for a

more detailed explanation.


Preliminary second-quarter 2014 measures of productivity and costs were

announced for the nonfinancial corporate sector. Productivity increased 3.1

percent in the second quarter of 2014 as output and hours rose 7.8 percent

and 4.5 percent, respectively. Unit labor costs fell 1.2 percent, as the

1.8 percent gain in hourly compensation was less than the 3.1 percent gain

in productivity. (See tables C and 6.)



Revised measures


The measures released today are based on more recent source data than were

available for the preliminary report. Table B presents previous and revised

productivity and related measures for the major sectors: nonfarm business,

business, and manufacturing. Output data for manufacturing incorporates

revised annual output indexes constructed by BLS using data from the U.S.

Bureau of the Census. Manufacturing measures based on output--including

productivity and unit labor costs--were subject to revision back to the

beginning of the series in 1987. Revised quarterly and annual series for

recent years for all sectors appear in tables 1-6. Revised annual indexes for

the manufacturing sectors for all years appear in appendix tables 1-3. Full

historical annual and quarterly measures can be found on the productivity and

costs home page:


AND MORE...including TABLES....




This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.










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