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Real hourly compensation rose 2.5 percent over the year; labor productivity increased 1.8 percent

September 09, 2019

From the second quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of 2019, real hourly compensation—that is, adjusted for inflation—rose 2.5 percent while nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 1.8 percent. The increase in labor productivity reflects a 2.6-percent increase in output and a 0.9-percent increase in hours worked. The increase in hours over the year is the lowest estimate since the second quarter of 2010 (–0.3 percent).

Percent change from same quarter a year ago in productivity and costs in nonfarm business sector

Measure

Labor productivity (output per hour)

Output

Hours worked

Hourly compensation

Real hourly compensation

Q2 2009

2.7% -5.7% -8.1% 1.8% 2.8%

Q3 2009

3.9 -4.5 -8.1 1.4 3.1

Q4 2009

6.1 -0.1 -5.8 1.0 -0.5

Q1 2010

5.6 2.0 -3.4 3.1 0.7

Q2 2010

3.7 3.4 -0.3 1.6 -0.1

Q3 2010

2.7 4.2 1.4 1.4 0.2

Q4 2010

1.6 3.5 1.8 1.4 0.1

Q1 2011

0.4 2.5 2.0 3.9 1.7

Q2 2011

0.4 2.4 2.0 2.1 -1.2

Q3 2011

-0.6 1.3 1.8 2.4 -1.3

Q4 2011

-0.2 1.9 2.2 0.5 -2.8

Q1 2012

0.8 3.7 2.8 1.0 -1.8

Q2 2012

1.1 3.2 2.1 2.3 0.4

Q3 2012

1.3 3.5 2.2 1.6 -0.1

Q4 2012

0.3 2.2 1.9 5.7 3.7

Q1 2013

0.5 2.0 1.6 1.8 0.0

Q2 2013

-0.4 1.4 1.8 2.0 0.5

Q3 2013

0.4 2.2 1.8 1.7 0.1

Q4 2013

1.5 3.2 1.7 -0.2 -1.5

Q1 2014

-0.1 1.7 1.7 3.2 1.7

Q2 2014

1.3 3.4 2.1 2.0 -0.2

Q3 2014

1.7 4.0 2.3 2.8 1.0

Q4 2014

0.5 3.5 3.0 3.2 2.0

Q1 2015

2.2 5.0 2.7 2.5 2.6

Q2 2015

1.6 4.2 2.5 3.8 3.7

Q3 2015

1.0 2.8 1.8 3.6 3.4

Q4 2015

0.5 2.0 1.5 2.3 1.8

Q1 2016

0.1 1.7 1.6 1.1 0.0

Q2 2016

-0.1 1.3 1.4 0.6 -0.5

Q3 2016

-0.1 1.6 1.7 0.7 -0.5

Q4 2016

1.2 2.4 1.1 2.0 0.2

Q1 2017

1.2 2.4 1.2 2.9 0.4

Q2 2017

1.2 2.6 1.4 3.2 1.2

Q3 2017

1.6 3.0 1.5 3.8 1.7

Q4 2017

1.3 3.4 2.0 4.0 1.8

Q1 2018

1.3 3.5 2.2 3.9 1.7

Q2 2018

1.6 3.8 2.1 3.5 0.8

Q3 2018

1.2 3.6 2.4 3.1 0.5

Q4 2018

1.0 2.9 1.9 2.0 -0.2

Q1 2019

1.7 3.2 1.5 3.3 1.6

Q2 2019

1.8 2.6 0.9 4.4 2.5

These data are from the Labor Productivity and Costs program. To learn more, see Productivity and Costs — Second Quarter 2019, Revised. Also see Charts related to the latest "Productivity and Costs" news release. 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. BLS calculates unit labor costs as the ratio of hourly compensation to labor productivity.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Real hourly compensation rose 2.5 percent over the year; labor productivity increased 1.8 percent on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/real-hourly-compensation-rose-2-5-percent-over-the-year-labor-productivity-increased-1-8-percent.htm (visited February 27, 2020).

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