September 2016 – Note on unit labour cost measurement in South Africa
I Venter and E Botes
Last Modified Date:
2020-10-01, 09:31 PM
Quarterly Bulletins > Articles and Notes
Changes in the cost of labour per unit of real output – unit labour cost or ULC – provide a good indication of price pressures emanating from labour market conditions in an economy. Consequently, ULC is an important macroeconomic indicator for monetary policy purposes and as such serves as a key explanatory variable in a number of equations within the Bank’ssuite of macroeconometric models. The Bank’s Economic Research and Statistics Department currently calculates two different nominal ULC measures2: an economy-wide measure compiled by the Macro Models Unit that feeds into the econometric models, and a formal non-agricultural sector measure based on the Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) survey, compiled by the Business Cycle Analysis Division that is published regularly in the Quarterly Bulletin.