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Monday, July 22, 2019
HomeNewsEconomyLabor Productivity Rises 1.9 Percent, Costs 2 Percent, Beating the Consensus

Labor Productivity Rises 1.9 Percent, Costs 2 Percent, Beating the Consensus

A collage graphic concept for industry and labor. (Photo: AdobeStock)

Labor Productivity and Costs See Solid Upward Revisions to Previous Q4 2018 Estimates

A collage graphic concept for industry and labor. (Photo: AdobeStock)
A collage graphic concept for industry and labor. (Photo: AdobeStock)

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%.

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PPD Business, the economy-reporting arm of People's Pundit Daily, is "making sense of current events." We are a no-holds barred, news reporting pundit of, by, and for the people.

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