Posted March 3, 2016

Productivity decreased in fourth quarter

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased at a 2.2-percent annual rate during the fourth quarter of 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Output increased 1.0 percent and hours worked increased 3.2 percent. From the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015, productivity increased 0.5 percent. Annual average productivity increased 0.7 percent from 2014 to 2015.

Manufacturing sector labor productivity decreased 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, as output increased 0.1 percent and hours worked rose 0.8 percent. Productivity declined 1.8 percent in the durable goods manufacturing sector and increased 0.3 percent in the nondurable goods sector. Over the last four quarters, manufacturing productivity increased 1.4 percent, as output increased 1.0 percent and hours declined 0.4 percent. Unit labor costs in manufacturing increased 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 and rose 1.0 percent from the same quarter a year ago.