Research >> Economics
2Q2015 Productivity Growth Increased 3.3%
Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased at a 3.3-percent annual rate during the second quarter of 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, as output increased 4.7 percent and hours worked increased 1.4 percent. (All quarterly percent changes in this release are seasonally adjusted annual rates.) From the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2015, productivity increased 0.7 percent, reflecting increases in output and hours worked of 3.3 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector decreased 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 2015, reflecting a 1.8-percent increase in hourly compensation and a 3.3-percent increase in productivity. Unit labor costs increased 1.7 percent over the last four quarters.
Manufacturing sector labor productivity increased 2.3 percent in the second quarter of 2015, as output increased 1.3 percent, and hours worked decreased 0.9 percent. Productivity increased 2.8 percent in the durable manufacturing sector and 1.2 percent in the nondurable goods sector. Over the last four quarters, manufacturing productivity increased 1.0 percent, as output increased 2.3 percent, and hours increased 1.2 percent. Unit labor costs in manufacturing decreased 2.2 percent in the second quarter of 2015 and increased 0.2 percent from the same quarter a year ago.
Preliminary second quarter 2015 measures of productivity and costs were announced for the nonfinancial corporate sector. Productivity decreased 0.6 percent in the second quarter of 2015, as output decreased 0.2 percent, and hours worked increased 0.3 percent. Unit labor costs increased 2.8 percent, reflecting both a 2.2 percent increase in hourly compensation and a 0.6 percent decrease in productivity.
In the second quarter of 2015, nonfarm business productivity growth was revised up to 3.3 percent from 1.3 percent, mainly due to a 1.9-percentage point upward revision to output; hours were revised down slightly. The 3.3 percent increase in labor productivity reverses the declines in the measure during the previous two quarters, restoring the index of output per hour to its third quarter 2014 level. Unit labor costs declined 1.4 percent rather than increasing 0.5 percent as reported August 11, due to an upward revision to productivity; hourly compensation was not revised. In the manufacturing sector, productivity growth was revised down slightly to 2.3 percent from the preliminary estimate of 2.5 percent. Unit labor costs decreased at a 2.2-percent rate, a slightly smaller decline than was previously reported.
In the first quarter of 2015, nonfarm business productivity decreased at the same 1.1-percent rate reported in the preliminary estimate. Hourly compensation, and therefore unit labor costs, increased more than previously reported. Manufacturing sector productivity was also unrevised, decreasing 0.6 percent. Hourly compensation and unit labor costs were revised downward.
Posted: September 2, 2015 Wednesday 08:30 AM