Declines in labor costs among service-producing industries
September 27, 2004
Between 1987 and 1998, unit labor costs declined in 11 of the 46 service-producing industries analyzed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Variety stores experienced the largest drop in unit labor costs (-4.7 percent). Other service-producing industries with large drops in labor costs were radio, television, computer, and music stores (-3.5 percent), railroad transportation (-2.5 percent), and household appliance stores (-2.2 percent).
Unit labor costs—the cost of the labor input required to produce one unit of output—are computed by dividing total compensation by real output.
This information is from the Industry Productivity Program. Data are subject to revision. Additional information is available from "Productivity and Costs: Service-Producing and Mining Industries, 1987-98" news release USDL 00-156. Cost data for railroad transportation is for 1987 to 1997.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Declines in labor costs among service-producing industries on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2000/jun/wk2/art02.htm (visited June 25, 2016).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.
- A look at pay at the top, the bottom, and in between
The Spotlight examines how earnings and wages have changed over time and how they differ within a geographic area, industry, or occupation.