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Economic Data (USA)

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Productivity and Labor Costs Report for Q4 2017 (Revised)

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this morning released its quarterly report on Productivity and Unit Labor Costs for the fourth quarter of 2017 (revised):

Nonfarm Productivity
Predicted: -0.1%
Actual: 0.0%

  • Change from 12 Months Previous (Y/Y): +1.1%


Unit Labor Costs
Predicted: +2.2%
Actual: +2.5%

  • Change from 12 Months Previous (Y/Y): +1.7%


The yellow-highlighted figures represent the quarter-to-quarter change in non-farm productivity and unit labor costs for the United States.


Labor Productivity, Q4 2017, Revised
Labor Productivity, Q4 2017, Revised


Unit Labor Costs, Q4 2017, Revised
Unit Labor Costs, Q4 2017, Revised


For non-farm productivity, a positive number represents an improvement in the efficiency of producing domestic goods and services in the U.S., and therefore can signify a favorable inflationary outlook, and vice versa.

The Unit Labor Costs report measures the costs related to producing each unit of output. A positive number can be a harbinger of rising inflation, and vice versa.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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