Drop in unit labor costs in manufacturing last year
February 12, 2003
Unit labor costs in manufacturing fell in 2002, by 0.7 percent. This was the first annual drop in unit labor costs since 1999.
The drop in unit labor costs in 2002 was the result of a 3.8-percent increase in hourly compensation and a 4.6-percent increase in labor productivity.
Unit labor costs in durable goods manufacturing declined 1.5 percent in 2002. In contrast, there was with a 0.6-percent rise in unit labor costs in nondurable goods manufacturing.
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, Fourth Quarter 2002" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 03-45.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Drop in unit labor costs in manufacturing last year on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2003/feb/wk2/art03.htm (visited July 28, 2015).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
New estimates of personal taxes in Consumer Expenditure Survey
In 2013, the Consumer Expenditure Survey improved its personal tax data.
Trends in long-term unemployment
Long-term unemployment reached historically high levels following the recession of 2007–2009.
Housing: before, during, and after the Great Recession
looks at consumer expenditures on household items, employment in residential construction, prices for household items, and injuries in occupations involved in building and maintaining our homes.