From the third quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2018, nonfarm business labor productivity increased 1.3%, reflecting a 3.7% increase in output and a 2.3% increase in hours worked. Unit labor costs increased 0.9% over the last four quarters.
Over the last four quarters, manufacturing productivity increased 1.4 percent, as output increased 3.6 percent and hours worked increased 2.1%. Unit labor costs in manufacturing decreased 1.2% from the same quarter a year ago.
These data are from the Labor Productivity and Costs program. To learn more, see Productivity and Costs — Third Quarter 2018, 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.