Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector increased an annualized 5.1 percent in the first quarter of 2020, higher than a preliminary estimate of 4.8 percent and after an upwardly revised 2.2 percent rise in the prior period. It is the biggest increase in labor costs since a 5.7 percent rise in the first quarter of 2019. Hourly compensation went up 4.2 (from an initial 2.2 percent), while productivity decreased 0.9 percent (from an initial -2.5 percent). Unit labor costs increased 1.9 percent over the last four quarters.

Labour Costs in the United States averaged 60.74 points from 1950 until 2020, reaching an all time high of 113.40 points in the first quarter of 2020 and a record low of 17 points in the first quarter of 1950. This page provides the latest reported value for - United States Labour Costs - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. United States Nonfarm Unit Labour Cost - data, historical chart, forecasts and calendar of releases - was last updated on August of 2020.

Labour Costs in the United States is expected to be 107.16 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 114.55 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United States Nonfarm Unit Labour Cost is projected to trend around 116.13 points in 2021 and 120.31 points in 2022, according to our econometric models.

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United States Nonfarm Unit Labour Cost

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
113.42 112.01 113.42 17.00 1950 - 2020 points Quarterly
2012=100, SA


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2020-02-06 01:30 PM Unit Labour Costs QoQ Prel Q4 1.4% 2.5% 1.4% 1.2%
2020-03-05 01:30 PM Unit Labour Costs QoQ Final Q4 0.9% 0.2% 1.4% 1.4%
2020-05-07 12:30 PM Unit Labour Costs QoQ Prel Q1 4.8% 0.9% 4.0% 4.2%
2020-06-04 12:30 PM Unit Labour Costs QoQ Final Q1 5.1% 2.2% 5% 4.8%


News Stream
US Q1 Labor Costs Revised Higher
Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector increased an annualized 5.1 percent in the first quarter of 2020, higher than a preliminary estimate of 4.8 percent and after an upwardly revised 2.2 percent rise in the prior period. It is the biggest increase in labor costs since a 5.7 percent rise in the first quarter of 2019. Hourly compensation went up 4.2 (from an initial 2.2 percent), while productivity decreased 0.9 percent (from an initial -2.5 percent). Unit labor costs increased 1.9 percent over the last four quarters.
2020-06-04
US Unit Labour Costs Rise More than Expected
Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector jumped an annualized 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020, higher than a 0.9 percent increase in the previous period and market forecasts of a 4 percent jump. It is the biggest increase in labor costs since a 5.7 percent rise in the first quarter of 2019. Hourly compensation went up 2.2 percent while productivity decreased 2.5 percent, the biggest drop since the fourth quarter of 2015. Unit labor costs increased 1.5 percent over the last four quarters.
2020-05-07
US Q4 Labor Costs Revised Lower
Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector increased an annualized 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, lower than a preliminary estimate of 1.4 percent and after a downwardly revised 0.2 percent rise in the prior period. Hourly compensation went up 2.1 percent (from an initial 2.8 percent), while productivity grew at a softer 1.2 percent (from an initial 1.4 percent). In 2019, labor costs rose 1.7 percent, reflecting increases of 3.6 percent in hourly compensation and 1.9 percent in productivity.
2020-03-05
US Labor Costs Rise 1.4% in Q4
Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector rose an annualized 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, following a 2.5 percent advance in the previous three-month period and matching market expectations. Hourly compensation grew 2.8 percent (vs 2.3 percent in Q3), while productivity increased at a softer 1.4 percent (vs -0.2 percent in Q3). Costs in the total manufacturing sector jumped 5.9 percent. In 2019, labor costs rose 2.0 percent, slightly above a 1.8 percent gain in 2018.
2020-02-06

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.