Unit labor costs and real hourly compensation, 2011
March 08, 2012
For 2011, in both the nonfarm business and manufacturing sectors, annual average growth in unit labor costs was revised upward; this was due to upward revisions to hourly compensation and downward revisions to productivity.
In the nonfarm business sector, unit labor costs rose 2.0 percent in 2011 and declined 0.8 percent in the manufacturing sector.
In 2011, real hourly compensation, which takes into account changes in consumer prices, decreased 0.7 percent in the nonfarm business sector. This is the largest annual decline in the measure since a 1.7-percent decline in 1989.
Real hourly compensation in the manufacturing sector decreased 1.3 percent in 2011, the largest decline in the measure since a 1.9-percent decline in 2004.
These data are from the Productivity and Costs program and are subject to revision. Labor compensation includes accrued wages and salaries, supplements, employer contributions to employee benefit plans, and taxes. Unit labor costs describe the relationship between compensation per hour and productivity, or real output per hour, and can be used as an indicator of inflationary pressure on producers. For more information, see "Productivity and Costs: Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages 2011, Revised" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-12-0401.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unit labor costs and real hourly compensation, 2011 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20120308.htm (visited July 31, 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.