15/12/2016 - Growth in unit labour costs (ULCs) in the OECD area slowed to 0.4% in the third quarter of 2016 (compared with 0.6% in the previous quarter) as growth in compensation costs decelerated to 0.6% (compared with 0.8% in the previous quarter), while labour productivity growth remained at 0.2%.
ULCs decelerated significantly in both the United States (to 0.3% in the third quarter, compared with 1.2% in the previous quarter) and the United Kingdom (to 0.7%, compared with 1.4% in the previous quarter), mainly driven by slowing growth in compensation costs. ULCs also fell sharply in Canada (to minus 0.3% compared with 0.6% in the previous quarter) on the back of a strong rebound in labour productivity growth (0.8% compared with minus 0.5% in the second quarter).
On the other hand, growth in ULCs increased in Japan (to 0.4%) mainly reflecting an acceleration in compensation costs (which picked up to 0.3%) but also a fall in productivity (which contracted by 0.1%).
In the Euro area, ULCs rose (to 0.3%, compared with 0.1% in the previous quarter) as labour compensation growth picked up (to 0.4%, compared with 0.1% in the previous quarter). ULC growth also picked up in Germany (to 0.7% compared to 0.1%), while it slowed in France (to 0.1%) and decreased in Italy (minus 0.1%), Spain (minus 0.2%) and Greece (minus 0.6%).
Early Estimates of Quarterly Unit Labour Costs
Starting in 2017, the series of quarterly ULCs and related indicators will be regularly updated online only and available at: http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=ULC_EEQ. The press releases will be discontinued.