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Unit Labor Costs
(Q / Q in %)

III Quarter
2017
prel.
II Quarter
2017
prel.
I Quarter
2017
prel.
IV Quarter
2016
rest.
III Quarter
2016
prel.
Total Business
0.4 % 0.5 % 3.4 % 1.5 % 0.2 %
Nonfarm business
0.5 % 0.2 % 3 % 1.3 % 0.3 %
Manufacturing
6.2 % -0.4 % 2.1 % 2.2 % 2.2 %
Durable Goods
6.7 % -0.6 % 2.5 % 2.1 % 0.7 %
Nondurable Goods
6.5 % 1 % 1.3 % 2.3 % 4.6 %

Productivity
These productivity measures describe the relationship between real output and the labor time involved in its production. They show the changes from period to period in the amount of goods and services produced per hour. Although these measures relate output to hours at work of all persons engaged in a sector, they do not measure the specific contribution of labor, capital, or any other factor of production. Rather, they reflect the joint effects of many influences, including changes in technology; capital investment; level of output; utilization of capacity, energy, and materials; the organization of production; managerial skill; and the characteristics and effort of the work force.
 
Unit Labor Costs
The measures of unit labor costs describe the relationship between compensation per hour and productivity, or real output per hour, and can be used as an indicator of inflationary pressure on producers. Increases in hourly compensation increase unit labor costs; labor productivity increases offset compensation increases and lower unit labor costs.
 
Hourly Compensation
The measure includes accrued wages and salaries, supplements, employer contributions to employee benefit plans, and taxes.
 
Hours Worked
Hours data for the labor productivity and cost measures include hours for all persons working in the sector—wage and salary workers, the self-employed and unpaid family workers.


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