May 08, 2008 (The Editor’s Desk is updated each business day.)

Productivity in first quarter 2008

Productivity—as measured by output per hour of all persons—increased 2.2 percent in the nonfarm business sector in the first quarter of 2008 as output rose 0.4 percent and hours of all persons fell 1.8 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rates).

Growth in output per hour of all persons, nonfarm business, seasonally adjusted, 2006 I - 2008 I (percent change from previous quarter at annual rate)
[Chart data—TXT]

The decrease in hours was the largest since the first quarter of 2003, when hours fell 2.3 percent, and followed a 1.6-percent decline in the previous quarter.

These data are from the BLS Productivity and Costs program. Data are subject to revision. For more information, see "Productivity and Costs, First Quarter 2008, Preliminary" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 08-0618.