Wednesday, December 03, 2014


[IWS] BLS: PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS Third Quarter 2014, Revised [3 December 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  Third Quarter 2014, Revised [3 December 2014]


[full-text, 12 pages]


Supplemental Files Table of Contents



Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased at a 2.3 percent annual

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

reported today, as output increased 4.9 percent and hours worked increased

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

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

of 2014, productivity rose 1.0 percent as output and hours worked increased

3.1 percent and 2.1 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. Measures released today are based on

more recent source data than were available for the preliminary report.


Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector fell 1.0 percent in the third

quarter of 2014, as a 1.3 percent increase in hourly compensation was smaller

than the 2.3 percent gain in productivity. Unit labor costs increased 1.2

percent over the last four quarters. (See tables A and 2.)


BLS calculates 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 2.9 percent in the third quarter

of 2014, as output increased 4.2 percent and hours worked increased 1.3

percent. Productivity increased 3.2 percent in the durable goods sector and

increased 3.5 percent in the nondurable goods sector. (See tables A, 3, 4,

and 5.) Over the last four quarters, manufacturing productivity increased 2.7

percent, as output increased 4.4 percent and hours increased 1.6 percent.

Unit labor costs in manufacturing fell 1.3 percent in the third quarter of

2014 and decreased 0.5 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 third-quarter 2014 measures were announced today for the

nonfinancial corporate sector. Productivity increased 1.1 percent as output

and hours rose 4.0 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively. (See tables C and



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



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