Productivity decreases as output and hours worked rise

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Aug 23, 2011

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased at a 0.3% annual rate during the second quarter of 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, with output and hours worked rising 1.8% and 2.0%, respectively. From the second quarter of 2010 to the second quarter of 2011, output increased 2.5% while hours rose 1.6%, yielding an increase in productivity of 0.8%.

Unit labor costs in nonfarm businesses rose 2.2% in the second quarter of 2011, because hourly compensation increased 1.9% while productivity decreased 0.3%. Over the last four quarters, hourly compensation increased more than output per hour, and unit labor costs rose 1.3%.

Manufacturing sector productivity fell 2.0% in the second quarter of 2011, as output rose 0.6% and hours increased 2.6%. Over the last four quarters, manufacturing productivity increased 2.3%. Unit  labor costs in manufacturing increased 4.4% in the second quarter of 2011 and were unchanged (0.0%) over the last four quarters.

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