Labor Productivity and Costs

Labor productivity relates output to the labor hours used in the production of that output. Two BLS programs produce labor productivity and costs (LPC) measures for sectors of the U.S. economy.

The Major Sector Productivity program publishes quarterly and annual measures of 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 program publishes annual measures of output per hour and unit labor costs for U.S. industries.

Multifactor productivity measures which relate output to a combined set of inputs are also produced for major sectors and industries and can be accessed at the Multifactor Productivity homepage.

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LPC News Releases

Productivity and Costs

June 04, 2015
Productivity decreased 3.1 percent in the nonfarm business sector in the first quarter of 2015; unit labor costs increased 6.7 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rates). In manufacturing, productivity decreased 1.0 percent and unit labor costs increased 3.4 percent. More...
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Productivity and Costs by Industry: Selected Service-Providing Industries, 2014

June 10, 2015
Labor productivity rose in 60 percent of the 25 detailed service-providing industries covered in 2014. Output and hours increased in more industries in 2014 than in the previous year. More...
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Productivity and Costs by Industry: Manufacturing and Mining Industries, 2014

June 10, 2015
Labor productivity rose in 77 percent of the 57 detailed manufacturing industries and 3 of the 4 detailed mining industries covered in 2014. Output and hours increased in more industries in 2014 than in the previous year. More...
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Productivity and Costs by Industry: Mining, Wholesale Trade, Retail Trade, and Food Services and Drinking Places Industries, 2013

August 07, 2014
Labor productivity rose in mining, in wholesale trade and in retail trade but fell in food services and drinking places in 2013. Within these sectors, productivity increased in nearly three-fourths of the detailed industries studied. More...
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Major Sector Productivity and Costs
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Major Sector Productivity Program

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Major Sector Productivity Program

Industry Productivity Program

Archive of Articles on Productivity and Technology »

LPC FAQs

  1. How is productivity defined?
  2. Why is productivity measurement important?
  3. How is productivity measured by BLS?
  4. What is the most commonly used productivity measure?
  5. What are "unit labor costs"?
  6. Does outsourcing and offshoring of intermediate production inflate the productivity measures?
  7. Why can't I find a productivity measure for the total economy?
  8. How are labor hours calculated?
  9. What is included in compensation?
  10. How are changes in output measured for specific industries?

All LPC FAQs »

LPC Special Notices

Contact LPC

Major Sector Productivity and Cost Data (Quarterly and Annual)

Major Sector Productivity Staff (202) 691-5606 Contact us
Contact a subject matter expert by phone

Industry Productivity and Cost Data (Annual)

Industry Productivity Studies Staff (202) 691-5618 Contact us
Contact a subject matter expert by phone

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