U.S. Labor Productivity Climbs 1.9% In Q4, More Than Expected

Trading 07 mar 2019 Donner votre avis

Government shutdown-delayed data released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed labor productivity in the U.S. increased by more than expected in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The Labor Department said labor productivity climbed by 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter following a downwardly revised 1.8 percent increase in the third quarter.

Economists had expected labor productivity to rise by 1.6 percent compared to the 2.2 percent jump previously reported for the third quarter.

The bigger than expected increase in productivity, a measure of output per hour, came as output surged up by 3.1 percent and hours worked rose by 1.2 percent.

The report said unit labor costs also surged up by 2.0 percent in the fourth quarter after climbing by an upwardly revised 1.6 percent in the previous quarter.

Unit labor costs had been expected to increase by 1.6 percent compared to the 0.9 percent advance previously reported for the third quarter.

Costs rose by more than anticipated as hourly compensation spiked by 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter, matching the jump in the third quarter.

Real hourly compensation, which takes changes in consumer prices into account, increased by 2.4 percent for the second consecutive quarter.

Compared to the same quarter a year ago, productivity was up by 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter, as output jumped by 3.7 percent and hours worked increased by 1.9 percent.

Unit labor costs were up by 1.0 year-over-year amid a 2.8 percent surge in hourly compensation. Real hourly compensation was up by 0.6 percent year-over-year.

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