Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector unexpectedly rose an annualized 1.7 percent in the first quarter of 2021, compared to initial estimates of a 0.3 percent fall. It follows an upwardly revised 14 percent jump in the previous period. It reflects a 7.2 percent increase in hourly compensation (vs 5.1 percent in preliminary estimates) and a 5.4 percent gain in productivity (the same as previously reported). Unit labor costs increased 4.1 percent over the last four quarters, as hourly compensation rose 8.3 percent and productivity increased 4.1 percent. The results 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 61.53 points from 1950 until 2021, reaching an all time high of 119.07 points in the first quarter of 2021 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 July of 2021.

Labour Costs in the United States is expected to be 132.51 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 122.52 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United States Nonfarm Unit Labour Cost is projected to trend around 127.00 points in 2022 and 132.08 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
119.07 118.56 119.07 17.00 1950 - 2021 points Quarterly
2012=100, SA


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
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%
2021-06-03 12:30 PM Unit Labour Costs QoQ Final Q1 1.7% 14.0% -0.4% -0.3%


News Stream
US Q1 Nonfarm Labour Costs Unexpectedly Rise
Unit labor costs in the US nonfarm business sector unexpectedly rose an annualized 1.7 percent in the first quarter of 2021, compared to initial estimates of a 0.3 percent fall. It follows an upwardly revised 14 percent jump in the previous period. It reflects a 7.2 percent increase in hourly compensation (vs 5.1 percent in preliminary estimates) and a 5.4 percent gain in productivity (the same as previously reported). Unit labor costs increased 4.1 percent over the last four quarters, as hourly compensation rose 8.3 percent and productivity increased 4.1 percent. The results have also been distorted by the pandemic's disproportionate impact on lower-wage industries.
2021-06-03
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

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.