February 08, 2008
Unit labor costs in manufacturing increased 1.6 percent in 2007, a reversal from the 1.5-percent decline in 2006.
The last time that manufacturing unit labor costs experienced an annual increase was in 2003.
In the durable goods manufacturing sector unit labor costs edged up 0.6 percent in 2007 following a 2.9-percent decline in 2006. Unit labor costs in nondurable goods industries rose 3.0 percent in 2007 after declining 0.5 percent in 2006.
Unit labor costs—the cost of the labor input required to produce one unit of output—are computed by dividing labor costs in nominal terms by real output. Unit labor costs can also be expressed as the ratio of hourly compensation to labor productivity.
These data are from the BLS Productivity and Costs program. Data are subject to revision. For more information, see the "Productivity and Costs, Preliminary Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages for 2007" (PDF) (HTML), news release USDL 08-0171.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Manufacturing unit labor costs up in 2007 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2008/feb/wk1/art05.htm (visited August 22, 2014).
This edition of Spotlight on Statistics examines labor productivity trends from 2000 through 2010 for selected industries and sectors within the nonfarm business sector of the U.S. economy. Read more »