Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector rose an annualized 2.5 percent in the third quarter of 2019, compared to a preliminary estimate of 3.6 percent and below market expectations of 3.3 percent. It reflected a 2.3 percent increase in compensation per hour and a 0.2 percent decline in productivity. Year-on-year, unit labor costs increased 2.2 percent. Labour Costs in the United States averaged 60.37 Index Points from 1950 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 112 Index Points in the third quarter of 2019 and a record low of 17 Index Points in the first quarter of 1950.

Labour Costs in the United States is expected to be 115.73 points by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Labour Costs in the United States to stand at 115.58 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United States Nonfarm Unit Labour Cost is projected to trend around 124.54 points in 2020, according to our econometric models.

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United States Nonfarm Unit Labour Cost

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
112.00 111.30 112.00 17.00 1950 - 2019 points Quarterly
2012=100, SA


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2019-08-15 12:30 PM Unit Labour Costs QoQ Prel Q2 2.4% 5.5% 1.7% 1.7%
2019-09-05 12:30 PM Unit Labour Costs QoQ Final Q2 2.6% 5.7% 2.5% 2.4%
2019-11-06 01:30 PM Unit Labour Costs QoQ Prel Q3 3.6% 2.4% 2.2% 2.4%
2019-12-10 01:30 PM Unit Labour Costs QoQ Final Q3 2.5% 2.4% 3.3% 3.6%


News Stream
2019-11-06
US Labour Costs Above Forecasts
Unit labour costs in the US nonfarm business sector rose an annualized 3.6 percent in the third quarter of 2019, higher than an upwardly revised 2.4 percent gain in the previous period and well above market expectations of 2.2 percent, preliminary estimates showed. It reflects a 3.3 percent increase in compensation per hour (5 percent in Q2) and a 0.3 percent decline in productivity (+2.5 percent in Q2). Unit labour costs increased 3.1 percent over the last four quarters.

2019-09-05
US Labour Cost Rises More than Expected in Q2
Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector rose an annualized 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2019, higher than a preliminary 2.4 percent and after an upwardly revised 5.7 percent gain in the prior period. It compares with market forecasts of a 2.5 percent increase. Hourly compensation advanced 4.9 percent (from an initial 4.8 percent) and labor productivity went up 2.3 percent. Year-on-year, unit labor costs increased 2.6 percent.

2019-08-15
US Labor Costs Rise 2.4% QoQ in Q2
Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector rose an annualized 2.4 percent in the second quarter of 2019, compared to a revised 5.5 percent increase in the previous three-month period and market expectations of 1.7 percent, a preliminary estimate showed. Hourly compensation rose 4.8 percent (vs 9.2 percent in Q1) and productivity went up 2.3 percent (vs 3.5 percent in Q1). Year-on-year, unit labor costs advanced 2.5 percent.

2019-06-06
US Labour Costs Fall More than Anticipated
Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector decreased an annualized 1.6 percent in the first quarter of 2019, more than an initial estimate of a 0.8 percent fall and compared with a 0.4 percent drop in the previous period. It compares with market expectations of a 0.8 percent decrease. Hourly compensation went up 1.8 percent (from initial 2.6 percent) and labor productivity advanced 3.4 percent (from initial 3.6 percent). Year-on-year, unit labor costs decreased 0.8 percent, the most since the fourth quarter of 2013.

2019-05-02
US Labor Costs Unexpectedly Fall in Q1
Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector fell an annualized 0.9 percent in the first quarter of 2019, following an upwardly revised 2.5 percent rise in the previous period and well below market expectations of a 1.5 percent gain, a preliminary estimate showed. Hourly compensation went up 2.6 percent and labor productivity advanced 3.6 percent. Year-on-year, unit labor costs rose 0.1 percent, the lowest since the last quarter of 2013.

2019-03-07
US Labor Costs Rise More than Expected in Q4
Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector went up an annualized 2 percent on quarter in the last three months of 2018, following an upwardly revised 1.6 percent rise in the previous period. It compares with market expectations of a 1.6 percent increase. It mainly reflects a 3.9 percent rise in hourly compensation and a 1.9 percent gain in labor productivity. Year-on-year, unit labor costs went up 1 percent, slightly lower than a 1.1 percent rise in the previous period. Considering full 2018, unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 1.4 percent, below 2.2 percent in 2017 and the lowest gain since 2016. It mainly reflects increases of 2.7 percent in hourly compensation and 1.3 percent in productivity.


United States Nonfarm Unit Labour Cost
Labour Costs refers to the relationship between compensation per hour and labor productivity, or real output per hour, and can be used as an indicator of inflationary pressure on producers.

United States Labour Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Unemployment Rate 3.50 3.50 10.80 2.50 percent [+]
Non Farm Payrolls 145.00 256.00 1118.00 -1959.00 Thousand [+]
Nonfarm Payrolls Private 139.00 243.00 1092.00 -1766.00 Thousand [+]
Government Payrolls 6.00 13.00 427.00 -260.00 Thousand [+]
Manufacturing Payrolls -12.00 58.00 655.00 -1715.00 Thousand [+]
Initial Jobless Claims 204.00 214.00 695.00 162.00 Thousand [+]
Continuing Jobless Claims 1767.00 1804.00 6635.00 988.00 Thousand [+]
ADP Employment Change 202.00 124.00 360.00 -706.00 Thousand [+]
Employed Persons 158803.00 158536.00 158803.00 57172.00 Thousand [+]
Unemployed Persons 5753.00 5811.00 15352.00 1596.00 Thousand [+]
Average Hourly Earnings 0.10 0.30 0.60 -0.20 percent [+]
Average Weekly Hours 34.30 34.30 34.60 33.70 Hours [+]
Labor Force Participation Rate 63.20 63.20 67.30 58.10 percent [+]
Long Term Unemployment Rate 0.72 0.74 4.40 0.08 percent [+]
Youth Unemployment Rate 8.10 8.00 19.50 4.80 percent [+]
Labour Costs 112.00 111.30 112.00 17.00 points [+]
Productivity 107.53 107.59 107.59 25.99 points [+]
Job Vacancies 7626.00 7095.00 7884.00 2157.00 Thousand [+]
Job Offers 6800.00 7361.00 7626.00 2264.00 Thousand [+]
Challenger Job Cuts 32843.00 44569.00 248475.00 15100.00 Persons [+]
Wages 23.79 23.77 23.79 2.50 USD/Hour [+]
Wage Growth 5.34 5.03 13.78 -5.88 percent [+]
Wages in Manufacturing 22.57 22.41 22.57 1.27 USD/Hour [+]
Minimum Wages 7.25 7.25 7.25 0.25 USD/Hour [+]
Employment Cost Index 0.70 0.60 2.00 0.20 percent [+]
Population 327.17 325.15 327.17 76.09 Million [+]
Retirement Age Women 66.00 66.00 66.00 66.00 [+]
Retirement Age Men 66.00 66.00 66.00 66.00 [+]
Employment Rate 61.00 61.00 64.70 54.90 percent [+]
Living Wage Family 2380.00 2270.00 2380.00 2160.00 USD/Month [+]
Living Wage Individual 1660.00 1560.00 1660.00 1450.00 USD/Month [+]
Part Time Employment 26992.00 26992.00 28134.00 10086.00 Thousand [+]
Full Time Employment 131755.00 131562.00 131755.00 64640.00 Thousand [+]
Wages High Skilled 4520.00 4330.00 4950.00 4330.00 USD/Month [+]
Wages Low Skilled 1960.00 1760.00 2340.00 1760.00 USD/Month [+]