Labor Department Firms Labor Cost Estimate


WASHINGTON (UPI) — Labor productivity in non-farm businesses fell at a 0.9 percent annual rate during the first quarter, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday.

The 0.9 percent drop in the first three months of 2012 is a revision from a month ago, when the decline was estimated at 0.5 percent.

With current data, productivity from the first quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of this year increased 0.4 percent, a revision from the previous estimate of 0.5 percent.

The decline reflects an increase of 3.3 percent in hours worked, up from 2.2 percent in the previous report, and a 2.4 percent increase in output, down from 2.8 percent in the previous estimate, the Labor Department’s statistical office said in a release.

Bureau data indicated unit labor costs in non-farm businesses rose 1.3 percent in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter of last year, down from the 2 percent reported a month earlier. Hourly compensation in the quarter increased 0.4 percent, down from a previous estimate of 1.5 percent.

From the first quarter of 2011, unit labor costs rose 0.9 percent.

Manufacturing sector productivity rose by 5.2 percent in the first quarter with output up 10 percent and hours worked up 4.6 percent.


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