August 12, 2010
Unit labor costs in manufacturing decreased 6.9 percent from the same quarter a year ago, the largest four-quarter decline since the series began in the first quarter of 1988.
From the previous quarter, at an annual rate, unit labor costs in manufacturing fell 6.1 percent in the second quarter of 2010.
In the first quarter of 2010, unit labor costs in manufacturing declined 6.2 percent rather than falling 1.5 percent as previously reported—reflecting a 5.0-percentage point downward revision to hourly compensation.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics defines 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.
These data, from the Productivity and Costs program, are seasonally adjusted, and are subject to revision. To learn more about productivity, output, hours and related measures, see "Productivity and Costs: Second Quarter 2010, Preliminary" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-10-1101.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Unit labor costs in manufacturing, second quarter 2010 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2010/ted_20100812.htm (visited July 29, 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 »