Sharp decline in manufacturing labor costs in first quarter
June 06, 2002
Unit labor costs in the manufacturing sector fell at an annual rate of 6.4 percent (seasonally adjusted) in the first quarter of 2002.
This decline in unit labor costs resulted from a combination of a 9.4-percent rise in manufacturing productivity and a 2.4-percent increase in hourly compensation. The last time unit labor costs fell this much in one quarter was in the second quarter of 1961, when they fell 6.9 percent.
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 a product of the BLS Productivity and Costs program. Data are subject to revision. Additional information is available in "Productivity and Costs, First Quarter 2002 (revised), (PDF) (TXT) news release USDL 02-318.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Sharp decline in manufacturing labor costs in first quarter on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2002/jun/wk1/art04.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.