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Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email: thomas.storring@novascotia.ca

November 06, 2019
US PRODUCTIVITY, Q3 2019

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has released revised productivity estimates for the third quarter of 2019.  All figures are reported as growth from the previous quarter at seasonally adjusted annualized rates.

Nonfarm business sector labour productivity in the US decreased 0.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2019 , following an increase of 3.5 per cent in the first quarter and 2.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2019. Output increased 2.1 per cent and hours worked increased 2.4 per cent.

US unit labour costs increased 3.6 per cent as hourly compensation rose while labour productivity declined.  Hourly compensation growth slowed in Q3 to 3.3 per cent. 


 

Manufacturing sector labour productivity decreased 0.1 per cent in the third quarter after a 2.4 per cent decline the previous quarter.  Output increased 1.1 per cent and hours worked increased 1.3 per cent. Productivity increased 1.2 per cent for durable goods and decreased 1.5 per cent for non-durable goods.  Unit labour costs rose 3.6 per cent in US manufacturing in Q3.

Notes: labour 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.  Unit labour costs are calculated as the ratio of hourly compensation to labour productivity; increases in hourly compensation increase unit labour costs while increases in productivity (output per hour) reduce unit labour costs.  US manufacturing output is calculated on a different basis than for all nonfarm businesses, so these series are not directly comparable.

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics



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