Two programs develop Productivity and Costs data for elements of the U.S. economy. The Major Sector Productivity and Costs program produces quarterly and annual output per hour and unit labor costs for the U.S. business, nonfarm business, and manufacturing sectors. These are the productivity statistics most often cited by the national media.
The Industry Productivity and Costs program produces annual measures of output per hour and unit labor costs for U.S. industries at the 2-, 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-digit level as defined in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
December 03, 2008
Productivity rose 1.3 percent in the nonfarm business sector in third-quarter 2008, as
hours fell faster than output. Unit labor costs increased 2.8 percent. Manufacturing
output per hour fell 2.7 percent; unit labor costs increased 7.6 percent. All rates are
seasonally adjusted annual rates.
August 21, 2008
Labor productivity (output per hour) increased in wholesale trade and retail
trade, and fell in food services and drinking places in 2007. Productivity
rose in 68 percent of the detailed industries studied, less than the 80 percent
with productivity gains from 2005 to 2006.
Current Economic News Releases
Productivity and Costs (HTML) (PDF)
Productivity and Costs by Industry
Selected Service-Providing and Mining Industries, 2006 (HTML) (PDF)
Manufacturing Industries, 2006 (HTML) (PDF)
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Schedule of Upcoming Releases
- Wholesale Trade, Retail Trade, and Food Services and Drinking Places Industries, 2007 (HTML) (PDF)
- NEW "Technical Information About the Major Sector Productivity and Costs Methods" (HTML) (PDF 58 KB) This document describes the labor productivity measures that BLS publishes for the major sectors of the U.S. economy, as well as the methodology used to calculate these measures. February 2008.
- "Productivity Measures: Business Sector and Major Subsectors", Chapter 10 of the BLS Handbook of Methods, BLS Bulletin 2490, April 1997, pp. 89-102.
- "Industry Productivity Measures, Chapter 11 of the BLS Handbook of Methods", BLS Bulletin 2490, April 1997, pp. 103-109.
- Note on the Differences Between the Quarterly Hourly Compensation Measures and the Employment Cost Index (ECI), January 2007.
- Construction of Employment and Hours for Self-employed and other Nonfarm workers and for all Farm workers, using Current Population Survey data for primary and secondary jobs." (PDF 106K), March 2006.
- "New Service Industry Productivity Measures," (PDF 31K) Report 993, February 2006
- "Construction of Average Weekly Hours for Supervisory and Nonproduction Wage and Salary Workers in Detailed Industries" (PDF 151K), August 2005.
- "Industry productivity trends under the North American Industry Classification system" (PDF 87K), by Matthew Russell, Paul Takac, and Lisa Usher, Monthly Labor Review, November 2004, pp.31-42.
- "Construction of average weekly hours for supervisory and nonproduction wage and salary workers in private nonfarm establishments" (PDF 46K), October 2004.
- "New Service Industry Productivity Measures," (PDF 30K) Report 979, September 2004.
- "Alternative measures of supervisory employee hours and productivity growth" (PDF 273K), by Lucy P. Eldridge, Marilyn E. Manser, and Phyllis Flohr Otto, Monthly Labor Review, April 2004.
- "The Effect of Outsourcing and Offshoring on BLS Productivity Measures" (PDF 32K), March 26, 2004.
- "New Transportation and Service Productivity Measures", (PDF 38K) Report 964, January 2003.
- "Unit Labor Costs for Selected Industries, 1987-97," (PDF 86K) Report 939, November 1999.
- "BLS completes major expansion of industry productivity series, (PDF 300K) by John Duke and Lisa Usher, Monthly Labor Review, September 1998, pp. 35-51.
- "The BLS Productivity Measurement Program," (PDF 95K), by Edwin R. Dean and Michael J. Harper, Discussion Paper presented at the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth: New Directions in Productivity Research, March 20-21, 1998.
- "Improvements to the Quarterly Productivity Measures" (PDF 400K), by Edwin R. Dean, Michael J. Harper, and Phyllis Flohr Otto, Monthly Labor Review, October 1995.
- "Hours at work ratios derived from the Employment Cost Index, 2001-2003" (PDF 689KB), Brief description of the Bureau of Labor Statistics new ratios of hours at work to hours paid and reasons for the discontinuation of the Hours at Work Survey.
- Archive of MLR Articles on Productivity and Technology.
- NEW The 1987, 1988, and 1989 indexes of labor productivity (output per hour), output per worker, employment, and hours for NAICS 3341 and NAICS 3344 have been corrected. The updated series reflect corrections to erroneous employment and hours data included in the measures published on March 20, 2008.
- Beginning with the release of manufacturing industry data for 2006, labor productivity and related indexes and rates of change are available on this web site for all industries for which BLS maintains productivity measures. To view the data, please see the Industry Productivity and Costs links under Get Detailed Productivity and Costs Statistics and Tables and Charts Created by BLS.
- Conversion to NAICS
Other BLS Programs
Other Useful Links