Productivity and Costs, Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages 2018, Preliminary



Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                                  USDL 19-0188
8:30 a.m. (EST) Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Technical information:  (202) 691-5606    Productivity@bls.gov   www.bls.gov/lpc
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902    PressOffice@bls.gov


(NOTE: Due to the lapse in appropriations for some federal agencies providing source data, 
nonfarm business productivity and all unit labor costs data are not available for fourth quarter 
and annual average 2018. These data will be released in the future.)


                                        PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS 
                        Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages 2018, Preliminary

Manufacturing sector labor productivity increased 1.3 percent during the fourth quarter of 2018, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, as output increased 2.3 percent and hours worked 
increased 1.0 percent. (All quarterly percent changes in this release are seasonally adjusted annual rates.) 
From the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018, manufacturing productivity increased 0.7
percent, reflecting a 2.8-percent increase in output and a 2.1-percent increase in hours worked. (See
tables A1 and 3.) Annual average productivity increased 0.6 percent from 2017 to 2018. (See table C1.) 

Durable manufacturing labor productivity increased 2.6 percent, with output increasing 5.7 percent and 
hours increasing 3.0 percent. Labor productivity in the nondurable manufacturing sector increased 1.2 
percent, with output declining 1.2 percent and hours declining 2.4 percent. (See tables A1, 4, and 5.)

Labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of 
hours worked by all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers. 

Revised measures

Revised and previously published measures for the third quarter of 2018 are shown in tables A2 and B1 
and cover the following major sectors: nonfarm business, business, manufacturing, and nonfinancial 
corporations.

In the third quarter of 2018, nonfarm business productivity was revised down 0.1 percentage point, to 
an increase of 2.2 percent. (See table B1.) Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 0.9 
percent in the third quarter, the same rate as previously reported. 

In the manufacturing sector, productivity was revised up 0.1 percentage point, to an increase of 1.1 
percent. Manufacturing unit labor costs decreased 1.3 percent, a 0.1-percentage point downward revision 
from the previously reported figure.

In the nonfinancial corporate sector, productivity was revised up 0.6 percentage point in the third 
quarter of 2018, to an increase of 6.1 percent--the largest increase since a 6.7-percent increase in the 
fourth quarter of 2012. This upward revision to productivity is due primarily to a 0.6-percentage point 
upward revision to output, with a small contribution from a 0.1-percentage point downward revision 
to hours. (See table A2.)

Annual averages

Table C1 presents annual average changes for the most recent 5 years for the total manufacturing 
sector. In the manufacturing sector, productivity increased 0.6 percent in 2018, as output increased 2.6 
percent and hours worked increased 2.0 percent. The increases in annual average output and hours were 
the largest since 2011 and 2012, respectively. Manufacturing sector productivity has grown less than 1.0 
percent in each of the last 8 years. The average annual rate of manufacturing productivity growth from 
2007 to 2018 is 0.6 percent, well below the long-term rate from 1987 to 2018 of 2.6 percent. 

Table C1 also shows annual average changes for hours worked in the nonfarm business sector. Hours worked 
increased 2.2 percent in the nonfarm business sector in 2018. Annual averages for 2018 are not available 
for the other nonfarm business sector measures.

Quarterly and annual data, where available, for all sectors from 2016 to 2018 appear in tables 1-6. Full 
historical measures can be found on the Productivity and Costs home page: www.bls.gov/lpc/#data.
______________

The revised Productivity and Costs news release for fourth-quarter 2018 is scheduled to be 
released on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. (EST). 


====================================================================================================
Data in this release do not reflect the annual benchmark revision of the BLS Current Employment 
Statistics program data released February 1, 2019. This benchmark will be incorporated in our next 
release on March 7, 2019.
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Table A1. Labor productivity growth and related measures - preliminary fourth-quarter 2018
(percent change from previous quarter at annual rate and from same quarter a year ago)


                                                Labor                   Hours    Hourly         Real hourly    Unit labor
Sector                  Percent change from:    productivity   Output   worked   compensation   compensation   costs
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nonfarm business        Previous quarter           N.A.         N.A.     1.6       N.A.           N.A.          N.A.
                        A year ago                 N.A.         N.A.     1.9       N.A.           N.A.          N.A.
                        
Business                Previous quarter           N.A.         N.A.     1.7       N.A.           N.A.          N.A.
                        A year ago                 N.A.         N.A.     1.8       N.A.           N.A.          N.A.    
                                                                                   
Manufacturing           Previous quarter           1.3          2.3      1.0       N.A.           N.A.          N.A.
                        A Year ago                 0.7          2.8      2.1       N.A.           N.A.          N.A.
 
 Durable                Previous quarter           2.6          5.7      3.0       N.A.           N.A.          N.A.
 manufacturing          A year ago                 1.3          4.4      3.1       N.A.           N.A.          N.A.
                                                                                     
 Nondurable             Previous quarter           1.2         -1.2     -2.4       N.A.           N.A.          N.A.
 manufacturing          A year ago                 0.7          1.1      0.4       N.A.           N.A.          N.A.
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Table A2. Labor productivity growth and related measures - revised and previously published third-quarter 2018
(percent change from previous quarter at annual rate) 


                                                Labor                   Hours    Hourly         Real hourly    Unit labor
Sector                                          productivity   Output   worked   compensation   compensation   costs
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------       
Nonfinancial             Revised                   6.1          7.2      1.0       3.3            1.3          -2.7
corporate          Previously published            5.5          6.6      1.1       3.2            1.2          -2.1
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Table B1. Labor productivity growth and related measures - revised and previously published third-quarter 2018
(percent change from previous quarter at annual rate)


                                                Labor                   Hours    Hourly         Real hourly    Unit labor
Sector                                          productivity   Output   worked   compensation   compensation   costs
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nonfarm business        Revised                    2.2          4.0      1.7        3.2           1.2           0.9
                   Previously published            2.3          4.1      1.8        3.1           1.1           0.9
                        
Business                Revised                    1.8          3.9      2.1        2.9           0.9           1.1
                   Previously published            1.9          4.1      2.1        2.8           0.8           0.9
                        
Manufacturing           Revised                    1.1          4.2      3.1       -0.2          -2.2          -1.3
                   Previously published            1.0          4.1      3.1       -0.2          -2.2          -1.2
                                                                
 Durable                Revised                    2.2          5.8      3.6        0.5          -1.5          -1.7
 manufacturing     Previously published            1.7          5.2      3.5        0.3          -1.7          -1.4
                        
 Nondurable             Revised                    0.2          2.6      2.3       -1.6          -3.6          -1.9
 manufacturing     Previously published            0.5          2.9      2.4       -1.4          -3.3          -1.9
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Table C1. Labor productivity growth and related measures  annual average changes: 2014-2018


                                                Labor                   Hours    Hourly         Real hourly    Unit labor
Sector                  Year                    productivity   Output   worked   compensation   compensation   costs
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nonfarm business........2018                       N.A.         N.A.     2.2         N.A.         N.A.          N.A.
........................2017                       1.1          2.7      1.6         3.4          1.2           2.2
........................2016                       0.1          1.6      1.5         1.1         -0.2           0.9
........................2015                       1.3          3.5      2.1         3.1          2.9           1.8
........................2014                       0.8          3.1      2.3         2.8          1.1           2.0
                        
Manufacturing...........2018                       0.6          2.6      2.0         N.A.         N.A.          N.A.
........................2017                       0.7          1.8      1.0         3.3          1.1           2.6
........................2016                       0.3          0.4      0.0         0.6         -0.7           0.3
........................2015                      -1.5         -0.6      1.0         2.5          2.4           4.1
........................2014                       0.0          1.6      1.6         2.8          1.0           2.8
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Last Modified Date: February 06, 2019