Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector decreased an annualized 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2021, following a downwardly revised 5.6 percent rise in the previous period and compared with market expectations of a 0.8 percent drop, a preliminary estimate showed. It is the first decline in labor costs since the third quarter of 2020, reflecting a 5.1 percent increase in hourly compensation and a 5.4 percent gain in productivity. Unit labor costs increased 1.6 percent over the last four quarters, as hourly compensation rose 5.8 percent and productivity increased 4.1 percent. They have also been distorted by the pandemic's disproportionate impact on lower-wage industries. source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Labour Costs in the United States averaged 61.51 points from 1950 until 2021, reaching an all time high of 117.68 points in the second 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 May of 2021.

Labour Costs in the United States is expected to be 121.91 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 119.80 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United States Nonfarm Unit Labour Cost is projected to trend around 124.71 points in 2022 and 129.70 points in 2023, according to our econometric models.

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United States Nonfarm Unit Labour Cost

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
116.23 116.32 117.68 17.00 1950 - 2021 points Quarterly
2012=100, SA


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2020-12-08 01:30 PM Unit Labour Costs QoQ Final Q3 -6.6% 12.3% -8.9% -8.9%
2021-02-04 01:30 PM Unit Labour Costs QoQ Prel Q4 6.8% -7% 4% 3.2%
2021-03-04 01:30 PM Unit Labour Costs QoQ Final Q4 6% -9.6% 6.6% 6.8%
2021-05-06 12:30 PM Unit Labour Costs QoQ Prel Q1 -0.3% 5.6% -0.8% -0.8%


News Stream
US Q1 Nonfarm Labor Costs Fall Less than Expected
Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector decreased an annualized 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2021, following a downwardly revised 5.6 percent rise in the previous period and compared with market expectations of a 0.8 percent drop, a preliminary estimate showed. It is the first decline in labor costs since the third quarter of 2020, reflecting a 5.1 percent increase in hourly compensation and a 5.4 percent gain in productivity. Unit labor costs increased 1.6 percent over the last four quarters, as hourly compensation rose 5.8 percent and productivity increased 4.1 percent. They have also been distorted by the pandemic's disproportionate impact on lower-wage industries.
2021-05-06
US Q4 Labor Costs Revised Lower
Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector rose an annualized 6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, rebounding from an upwardly revised 9.6 percent drop in the previous period but less than a preliminary estimate of a 6.8 percent jump and below market expectations of a 6.6 percent rise. Hourly compensation climbed 1.5 percent (vs 1.7 percent previously reported) and productivity fell 4.2 percent (vs -4.8 percent previously reported). Year-on-year, unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector rose 4.2 percent.
2021-03-04
US Q4 Nonfarm Labor Costs Rise More than Expected
Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector jumped an annualized 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, rebounding from an upwardly revised 7 percent drop in the previous period and compared with market forecast of a 4 percent rise, a preliminary estimate showed. Hourly compensation climbed 1.7 percent and productivity fell 4.8 percent. Year-on-year, unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector rose 5.2 percent. Considering full 2020, unit labor costs went up 4.3 percent.
2021-02-04
US Q3 Nonfarm Labor Costs Fall Less than Anticipated
Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector slumped at an annual rate of 6.6 percent in the third quarter of 2020, compared to a preliminary estimate of an 8.9 percent fall and following an upwardly revised 12.3 percent rise in the prior period. The third-quarter decline in unit labor costs followed three consecutive quarterly increases. Hourly compensation decreased 2.3 percent and productivity increased 4.6 percent. Year-on-year, unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector rose 4 percent.
2020-12-08

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.