Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased at a 3.0 percent annual rate during the third quarter of 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The increase in productivity reflects increases of 4.7 percent in output and 1.7 percent in hours worked. (All quarterly percent changes in this release are seasonally adjusted annual rates.) From the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013, productivity increased 0.3 percent as output and hours worked rose 2.1 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.

Unit labor costs in nonfarm businesses decreased 1.4 percent in the third quarter of 2013, while hourly compensation increased 1.6 percent. Unit labor costs rose 2.1 percent over the last four quarters. 

Manufacturing sector productivity declined 0.1 percent in the third quarter of 2013, as output and hours worked increased 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. Productivity increased 1.1 percent in the durable goods sector and decreased 1.0 percent in the nondurable goods sector. Over the last four quarters, manufacturing productivity increased 2.2 percent, as output increased 2.3 percent and hours edged up 0.1 percent. Unit labor costs in manufacturing grew 1.3 percent in the third quarter of 2013 and declined 0.2 percent from the same quarter a year ago. Nonfinancial corporate sector productivity decreased 0.7 percent in the third quarter of 2013.  


Revised Measures

The measures released here are based on more recent source data than were available for the preliminary report. 

In the third quarter of 2013, nonfarm business productivity increased 3.0 percent, rather than 1.9 percent as reported November 14; this is the largest increase in the quarterly series since a 4.7 percent gain in the fourth quarter of 2009. The upward revision to productivity reflected a 1.0 percentage point upward revision to output. Unit labor costs were revised down, and decreased 1.4 percent, as the upward revision to productivity was greater than an upward revision to hourly compensation. In the manufacturing sector, productivity declined 0.1 percent rather than increasing 0.4 percent as previously reported, reflecting a downward revision to output and an upward revision to hours worked. Unit labor costs increased 1.3 percent, the same as the preliminary estimate.


Read the full report here.