Research >> Economics
3Q2017 Productivity Growth increased 3.0%
Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 3.0 percent during the third quarter of 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, as output increased 3.8 percent and hours worked increased 0.8 percent. (All quarterly percent changes in this release are seasonally adjusted annual rates.) From the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017, productivity increased 1.5 percent, reflecting a 2.9-percent increase in output and a 1.4-percent increase in hours worked.
Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 0.5 percent in the third quarter of 2017, reflecting a 3.5-percent increase in hourly compensation and a 3.0-percent increase in productivity. Unit labor costs decreased 0.1 percent over the last four quarters.
Manufacturing sector labor productivity fell 5.0 percent in the third quarter of 2017, as output decreased 2.1 percent and hours worked increased 3.1 percent. The decrease in manufacturing output per hour is the largest since the first quarter of 2009, when the measure fell 16.3 percent. Productivity decreased 5.7 percent in the durable goods manufacturing sector and 4.6 percent in the nondurable goods sector in the third quarter of 2017. Over the last four quarters, total manufacturing sector productivity increased 0.1 percent, as output increased 1.2 percent and hours worked increased 1.1 percent. (See tables A1, 3, 4 and 5.) Unit labor costs in manufacturing increased 6.2 percent in the third quarter of 2017 and rose 0.7 percent from the same quarter a year ago.
In the second quarter of 2017, nonfarm business sector productivity increased 1.5 percent, the same as reported on September 7; both output and hours were revised down 0.1 percentage point. Unit labor costs rose 0.3 percent during the second quarter. In the manufacturing sector, productivity was revised up 0.5 percentage point to an increase of 3.4 percent, due to an upward revision to output. Unit labor costs decreased 1.0 percent rather than declining 0.4 percent as previously reported.
Second-quarter 2017 measures of productivity and costs were revised for the nonfinancial corporate sector. Productivity increased 4.4 percent rather than 4.6 percent as previously reported. Unit labor costs decreased 2.3 percent rather than the preliminary estimate of a 2.6-percent decline.
Posted: November 2, 2017 Thursday 08:30 AM