The BLS report on Productivity and Costs shows nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 0.3 percent in the third quarter of 2019.

Labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of hours worked by all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers.

The BLS says output increased 2.1% and hours worked increased 2.4% in the third quarter.

Given the GM strike and huge problems at Boeing, I struggle to see output and hours worked are both up, but that is what the reports says.


Missing the Boat

Economists were well off the mark.

  • Economists in the Econoday poll expected a 1% rise in productivity in a range of +0.1% to +1.9% vs. the delivered -0.3%
  • Economists expected labor costs to rise 2.2% in a range of 1.3% to 2.9% vs the delivered 3.6%.

Both results were outside the consensus range.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Weak Productivity and Tame Unit Labor Costs

Labor costs and productivity were both weaker than expected.

Productivity Up 0.4%, Well Under Expectations of 0.7%, Labor Costs Up 2.9%

First-quarter US productivity was a disappointing 0.4%. Manufacturing productivity declined 1.2%. Wages rose 2.9%.

Crude Dives to $30, a Whopping $20 Below Cost of Production

Crude futures opened down a massive 31% today. Prices have recovered a bit, but price is well below cost of production.

Productivity Tale of Two Sectors: Overall Productivity +3.0%, Manufacturing Productivity -5.0%

Productivity jumped 3.0% in the third quarter with unit labor costs up only 0.5%. In manufacturing, productivity decreased 5.0 percent and unit labor costs increased 6.2 percent.

Labor Productivity Up, Real Hourly Compensation Down

Labor productivity is inching along. Real wages are not keeping up.

Productivity Dives, Wages Rise; Inflation Theory vs. Practice; Technical Recession?

Today’s BLS release on Productivity and Costs shows a back-to-back decline in productivity accompanied with rising wages. Productivity is up year-over year, but barely, at 0.6%.

Medical Care Costs Soaring Out of Control

The cost of medical care services dramatically outpaces stated CPI inflation measures.

Industrial Production Dives and It's Not All Strike Related

Industrial production was down 0.8% in October with Manufacturing down 0.6%. Motor vehicles were down a whopping 7.1%.

Industrial Production Unexpectedly Declines

Industrial production unexpectedly slipped in March, down 0.1% vs an expected gain of 0.3%.