BLS Handbook of Methods

NOTE: This Handbook chapter does not reflect the most recent methodology in the major sector productivity measurement programs. A new chapter is being prepared. For up-to-date information on the labor productivity measures that BLS publishes for the major sectors of the U.S. economy, please visit For major sector multifactor productivity measures, please visit

In This Chapter

Chapter 10.
Productivity Measures: Business Sector and Major Subsectors


Indexes of labor productivity, multifactor productivity, and related measures for broad economic sectors and manufacturing industries are published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Quarterly and annual measures of output per hour, together with comparable measures of compensation per hour and unit labor costs, are maintained for business and nonfarm business from 1947 to the present. Similar measures are also available for manufacturing (total, durable, and nondurable sectors) and for nonfinancial corporations.

The multifactor productivity indexes for major sectors measure the value-added output per combined unit of labor and capital input in private business and private nonfarm business. Multifactor productivity indexes for aggregate manufacturing and for 20 manufacturing industries provide measures of sector output per combined unit of capital (K), labor (L), energy (E), materials (M), and purchased business services (S) inputs — KLEMS inputs.

Table 1 summarizes the availability of productivity measures for major sectors of the U.S. economy.

Table 1 . Availability of productivity measures for major sectors and subsectors of the economy

Productivity measure Input(s) Index available

Labor productivity:
Business1 Labor Quarterly
Nonfarm business Labor Quarterly
Nonfinancial corporations Labor Quarterly
Manufacturing, total Labor Quarterly
Durable Labor Quarterly
Nondurable Labor Quarterly

Multifactor productivity
Private business Labor, capital Annually
Private nonfarm business Labor, capital Annually

2 multifactor productivity:
Manufacturing and 20 2-digit SIC manufacturing industries services Labor, capital, energy, materials, services Annually

1 Includes government enterprises; multifactor productivity measures exclude such enterprises.

2 Capital (K), labor (L), energy (E), materials (M), and purchased business services (S) inputs.

Next: Description of Measures

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