Labor Productivity and Costs See Solid Upward Revisions to Previous Q4 2018 Estimates
Nonfarm business sector labor productivity rose 1.9% in the fourth quarter (Q4) 2018 and unit labor costs rose 2.0%, the Labor Department said Thursday.
The consensus forecast for labor productivity was 1.6%, ranging from a low of 1.0% to a high of 2.0%. The consensus forecast for labor costs was 1.8%, ranging from a low of 1.2% to a high of 2.2%.
For labor productivity, output increased 3.1% and hours worked increased 1.2%. From Q4 2017 to Q4 2018, productivity rose 1.8% reflecting a 3.7% gain in output and a 1.9% gain in hours worked.
Annual average productivity rose 1.3% from 2017 to 2018.
Manufacturing sector labor productivity rose 2.0% in Q4 2018, as output gained 2.7% and hours worked rose 0.8%. The durable manufacturing sector saw productivity rise 3.3% in Q4 2018, while non-durable rose 1.9%.
Nonfarm unit labor costs, increased 1.0 percent over the last four quarters. For manufacturing, unit labor costs rose 2.2% in Q4 2018 and 0.8% from Q4 2017.
Labor Productivity and Costs Revisions
In Q4 2018, manufacturing sector productivity was revised higher to 2.0% from an initial estimate of 1.3%. Productivity was also revised up in durable goods manufacturing to 3.3% and in nondurable goods industries to 1.9%.