Thursday, February 05, 2015


[IWS] BLS: PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages 2014, Preliminary [5 February 2015]

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 Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages 2014, Preliminary [5 February 2015]


[full-text, 12 pages]


Supplemental Files Table of Contents



Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased at a 1.8 percent annual

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

reported today, as output increased 3.2 percent and hours worked increased

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

adjusted annual rates.) The increase in hours worked is the largest increase

in this series since a gain of 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 1998.

From the fourth quarter of 2013 to the fourth quarter of 2014, productivity

was unchanged as output and hours worked both increased 3.1 percent. (See

table A.) Annual average productivity increased 0.8 percent from 2013 to

2014. (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 the nonfarm business sector increased 2.7 percent in the

fourth quarter of 2014, reflecting a 0.9 percent increase in hourly

compensation and a 1.8 percent decline in productivity. Unit labor costs

increased 1.9 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 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter

of 2014, as output increased 5.7 percent and hours worked increased 4.3

percent. Productivity increased 1.5 percent in the durable manufacturing

sector and increased 0.2 percent in the nondurable manufacturing sector.

(See tables A, 3, 4, and 5.) Over the last four quarters, manufacturing

productivity increased 2.8 percent, as output increased 4.8 percent and hours

increased 1.9 percent. Unit labor costs in manufacturing increased 0.2

percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 and decreased 0.4 percent from the

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


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



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