Employers Have Been Paying More Labor

(CN) – Employers have been paying more to hire and retain employees — and the rise in wages has been handily outpacing gains in productivity.

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Monday that from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, unit labor costs for nonfarm business increased 2.8 percent.

Hourly compensation for the majority of US businesses increased 3.9 percent over the year, outpacing the 1.1-percent over-the-year increase in nonfarm labor productivity.

Unit labor costs and hourly compensation have increased compared to the same quarter in the previous year every quarter since the end of 2013.

The government said output from the nation’s nonfarm businesses increased 2.4 percent from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017.

During this period, hours worked increased 1.3 percent. The last over-the-year decrease in output occurred from the fourth quarter of 2008 to the fourth quarter of 2009, while the last over-the-year decrease in hours worked for nonfarm business occurred from the second quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2010.

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