Productivity and Costs: Selected Service-Providing and Mining Industries News Release


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, May 26, 2011		                             USDL-11-0762

Technical Information: 	(202) 691-5618  •  dipsweb@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/lpc 
Media Contact:		(202) 691-5902  •  PressOffice@bls.gov



                           PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS BY INDUSTRY:
                  SELECTED SERVICE-PROVIDING AND MINING INDUSTRIES, 2009

Labor productivity -- defined as output per hour -- rose in 44 percent of the 52 detailed service-
providing and mining industries studied in 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. 
This was down from 56 percent in 2008 and from 65 percent in 2007. Unit labor costs, which reflect the 
total labor costs required to produce a unit of output, declined in 33 percent of the industries in 2009, 
compared to 31 percent in 2008.

Output and hours also rose in fewer industries in 2009 than in the previous two years. 
Output rose in only 6 of the 52 service-providing and mining industries in 2009, while hours increased in 
7. (See table 1.) In over one quarter of the industries studied, output and hours both declined at double-
digit rates. 
 
Industry labor productivity measures are updated as data become available. Productivity measures for 
industries in other sectors can be accessed on the BLS Labor Productivity and Costs web site at 
www.bls.gov/lpc.

In 2009, output per hour increased in 21 of the 47 detailed service-providing industries and in two of the 
five detailed mining industries studied. (See table 1.) Although productivity changes varied widely 
among the service-providing and mining industries, almost all of the increases in productivity involved 
declines in hours. Of the 52 detailed industries studied, only medical laboratories produced productivity 
gains accompanied by an increase in hours.

Declining hours resulted in productivity increases in some industries where output was falling, as well as 
in industries where output was expanding. Productivity increased the most in photofinishing and in 
wireless telecommunications carriers. Output of wireless telecommunications carriers increased while 
output in photofinishing fell; however both industries posted double-digit declines in hours. Productivity 
declined the most in the truck, trailer and RV rental and leasing industry, where hours fell but output fell 
much more.

Productivity rose in the overall mining sector and in the oil and gas extraction and metal ore mining 
industries in 2009, but declined in coal mining, in nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying, and in 
support activities for mining. Hours fell in all of the mining industries.

Among the 20 largest (by employment) service-providing and mining industries, drinking places 
(alcoholic beverages) recorded the largest productivity increase, as hours fell more than twice as fast as 
output. Support activities for mining, where both output and hours fell by double digits, recorded the 
largest productivity decline.

Unit labor costs rose in 31 of 47 service-providing industries and in 3 of 5 mining industries in 2009.  
Unit labor costs declined the most in photofinishing and in oil and gas extraction.
 
The industry productivity performance in 2009 contrasts with the more positive industry productivity 
performance over the longer term. Between 1987 and 2009, labor productivity increased in 83 percent of 
the detailed service-providing and mining industries and unit labor costs declined in 19 percent of the 
industries.

With this release, productivity and cost measures are published for the first time for truck transportation. 
This industry includes both the general freight trucking industry and the specialized freight trucking 
industry. Trends in truck transportation are strongly affected by business cycles and the overall economic 
environment. Output per hour in the truck transportation industry rose at a moderate rate of about 1.0 
percent per year on average between 2001 and 2007, but declined 4.5 percent in 2009.


                                             Technical Note

Labor Productivity: The industry labor productivity measures describe the relationship between 
industry output and the labor time involved in its production. They show the changes from period to 
period in the amount of goods and services produced per hour. Although the labor productivity measures 
relate output to hours of all persons in an industry, they do not measure the specific contribution of labor 
or any other factor of production. Rather, they reflect the joint effects of many influences, including 
changes in technology; capital investment; utilization of capacity, energy, and materials; the use of 
purchased services inputs, including contract employment services; the organization of production; 
managerial skill; and the characteristics and effort of the workforce.

Output: Industry output is measured as an annual-weighted index of the changes in the various products 
(in real terms) provided for sale outside the industry. Real industry output is usually derived by deflating 
nominal sales or values of production using BLS price indexes, but for some industries it is measured by 
physical quantities of output. 

Industry output measures are constructed primarily using data from the economic censuses and annual 
surveys of the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce, together with information on price 
changes primarily from BLS. Output measures for some mining and utilities industries are based on 
physical quantity data from the Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, while 
output measures for some transportation industries are based on physical quantity data from the Bureau 
of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation. Other data sources for some industries 
include the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior; the U.S. Postal Service; the Postal 
Rate Commission; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Labor Hours: The primary source of industry employment and hours data is the BLS Current 
Employment Statistics (CES) survey. The CES provides monthly data on the number of total and 
nonsupervisory worker jobs held by wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments, as well as data 
on the average weekly hours of nonsupervisory workers in those establishments. CES and CPS data are 
supplemented or further disaggregated for some industries using data from the BLS Quarterly Census of 
Employment and Wages (QCEW), the Census Bureau, or other sources. Data from the Current 
Population Survey (CPS) are used together with CES data to estimate the historical average weekly 
hours of supervisory workers for each industry. The CPS data are also used to estimate the employment 
and hours of self-employed and unpaid family workers in each industry. Other sources of employment 
and hours data for some service industries include the Association of American Railroads, the U.S. 
Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Postal Service. Hours of all workers in an industry are 
treated as homogeneous and are directly aggregated.  

Unit Labor Costs: Unit labor costs represent the cost of labor required to produce one unit of output.  
The unit labor cost indexes are computed by dividing an index of industry labor compensation by an 
index of real industry output. Unit labor costs also describe the relationship between compensation per 
hour and real output per hour (labor productivity). Increases in hourly compensation increase unit labor 
costs; increases in labor productivity offset compensation increases and lower unit labor costs. 
      
Compensation, defined as payroll plus supplemental payments, is a measure of the cost to the employer 
of securing the services of labor. Payroll includes salaries, wages, commissions, dismissal pay, bonuses, 
vacation and sick leave pay, and compensation in kind. Supplemental payments include legally required 
expenditures and payments for voluntary programs. The legally required portion consists primarily of 
Federal old age and survivors’ insurance, unemployment compensation, and workers’ compensation. 
Payments for voluntary programs include all programs not specifically required by legislation, such as the 
employer portion of private health insurance and pension plans.

Revisions: This news release incorporates data from the 2009 Service Annual Survey (SAS) and the 
November 2010 Subject Series Revision of the 2007 Economic Census, both published by the Census 
Bureau. The labor productivity and output series for all industries have been revised for 2008 and earlier 
years as a result. This news release also incorporates the annual benchmark revision of the BLS Current 
Employment Statistics (CES) survey published in February 2011. The industries included in this release 
are classified according to the 2007 NAICS. All of the measures for 2009 in this release are preliminary 
and subject to revision.

Additional Information: While the rates of change reported by BLS in this news release are rounded to 
one decimal place, all industry productivity percent changes are calculated using index numbers rounded 
to three decimal places.

Year-to-year movements in industry productivity may be erratic, particularly in smaller industries. The 
annual measures based on sample data may differ from measures generated by a census of 
establishments in the industry. Annual changes in an industry’s output and use of labor may reflect 
cyclical changes in the economy as well as long-term trends. As a result, long-term productivity trends 
tend to be more reliable indicators of industry performance than year-to-year changes.

Industry productivity and related indexes and rates of change can be accessed online by visiting the 
Labor Productivity and Costs web site at www.bls.gov/lpc. Levels of industry employment, hours, labor 
compensation, and value of production, and the implicit price deflator for output for these industries, are 
available by calling the Division of Industry Productivity Studies (202-691-5618) or by sending an 
e-mail to dipsweb@bls.gov. Information in this report will be made available to sensory-impaired 
individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5618; TDD message referral phone number: 1-800-877-
8339.

To subscribe to the industry productivity program’s electronic notification service, send an e-mail to 
dipsnews@bls.gov with the word “subscribe” in the subject line.


Table 1.  Percent change in output per hour, output, hours, compensation, and unit labor costs, 2008-2009

                                                                                      Percent change, 2008-2009
                                                                2009     ---------------------------------------------------
 NAICS                        Industry                       Employment   Output                        Labor     Unit labor
 code                                                       (thousands)  per hour   Output    Hours  compensation   costs

                         Mining Industries

21       Mining                                                   661      14.2       0.4     -12.1     -11.1      -11.4
211      Oil and gas extraction                                   162       6.3       5.4      -0.9      -5.1      -10.0
2111     Oil and gas extraction                                   162       6.3       5.4      -0.9      -5.1      -10.0
212      Mining, except oil and gas                               212      -2.4     -13.6     -11.5      -6.6        8.1
2121     Coal mining                                               82      -6.2      -8.8      -2.7       2.4       12.2
2122     Metal ore mining                                          35      11.0     -11.5     -20.3     -15.1       -4.1
2123     Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying                  95      -6.8     -21.3     -15.5     -11.9       11.9
213      Support activities for mining                            287      -6.2     -22.6     -17.5     -19.3        4.3
2131     Support activities for mining                            287      -6.2     -22.6     -17.5     -19.3        4.3

                             Utilities

2211     Power generation and supply                              404      -2.4      -3.6      -1.3       2.7        6.6
2212     Natural gas distribution                                 109      -3.8      -2.1       1.8       5.4        7.7

                   Transportation and Warehousing

481      Air transportation                                       399       0.1      -6.5      -6.6      -0.3        6.6
482111   Line-haul railroads                                      172      -3.9     -17.2     -13.8      -5.9       13.6
484      Truck Transportation                                    1501      -4.5     -14.4     -10.4     -11.7        3.1
4841     General freight trucking                                1096      -5.0     -14.8     -10.3     -12.2        3.0
48411    General freight trucking, local                          289      -4.5     -14.7     -10.7     -11.4        3.9
48412    General freight trucking, long-distance                  807      -5.2     -14.8     -10.1     -12.5        2.7
48421    Used household and office goods moving                    86      -0.3     -16.8     -16.6     -11.6        6.4
491      Postal service                                           703       1.4     -11.7     -12.9      -7.3        5.0
4911     Postal service                                           703       1.4     -11.7     -12.9      -7.3        5.0
492      Couriers and messengers                                  579      -4.9     -11.0      -6.3     -10.9        0.0
493      Warehousing and storage                                  645       1.4      -4.0      -5.4      -3.6        0.4
4931     Warehousing and storage                                  645       1.4      -4.0      -5.4      -3.6        0.4
49311    General warehousing and storage                          538       2.2      -3.6      -5.7      -3.9       -0.3
49312    Refrigerated warehousing and storage                      51      -8.4      -2.6       6.2      -1.4        1.2

                            Information

511      Publishing                                               833       1.3      -8.0      -9.2      -6.1        2.1
5111     Newspaper, book, and directory publishers                576      -1.6     -14.2     -12.8     -10.1        4.8
5112     Software publishers                                      258      -0.8      -1.8      -1.0      -1.4        0.4
51213    Motion picture and video exhibition                      134       6.6       1.3      -5.0       2.6        1.3
515      Broadcasting, except internet                            316       1.7      -1.7      -3.3      -4.0       -2.4
5151     Radio and television broadcasting                        227      -0.1      -4.1      -4.0      -7.9       -4.0
5152     Cable and other subscription programming                  89       2.6       0.7      -1.8       6.8        6.1
5171     Wired telecommunications carriers                        643       1.7      -2.9      -4.6      -0.5        2.5
5172     Wireless telecommunications carriers                     192      24.3       6.4     -14.4       0.0       -6.0

                       Finance and Insurance

52211    Commercial banking                                      1317       2.2      -0.6      -2.8       9.6       10.2

                 Real Estate and Rental and Leasing

532111   Passenger car rental                                     106      -4.1     -16.0     -12.4     -13.0        3.6
53212    Truck, trailer and RV rental and leasing                  58     -13.3     -14.3      -1.2      -6.6        9.1
53223    Video tape and disc rental                                88       8.4     -15.9     -22.4     -16.2       -0.4

                Professional and Technical Services

541213   Tax preparation services                                 149      -2.3      -1.0       1.4      -4.8       -3.8
54131    Architectural services                                   194      -1.2     -20.1     -19.1     -20.7       -0.8
54133    Engineering services                                     917      -5.4     -11.9      -6.9      -2.8       10.4
54181    Advertising agencies                                     184       1.9      -5.6      -7.3      -8.3       -2.9
541921   Photography studios, portrait                             74      -5.8      -4.7       1.2      -5.7       -1.1

                 Administrative and Waste Services

561311   Employment placement agencies                            219       0.3     -16.4     -16.7     -21.3       -5.9
56151    Travel agencies                                          100       2.8     -14.9     -17.2     -18.8       -4.6
56172    Janitorial services                                     1214      -3.7      -7.5      -4.0      -1.4        6.7

                 Health Care and Social Assistance

6215     Medical and diagnostic laboratories                      232       2.7       4.3       1.6       5.4        1.1
621511   Medical laboratories                                     155       5.0       6.7       1.6       4.8       -1.7
621512   Diagnostic imaging centers                                76      -0.7       1.0       1.7       6.9        5.9

                Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation

71311    Amusement and theme parks                                136      -7.8      -7.9      -0.1      -4.7        3.5
71395    Bowling centers                                           72      -2.9      -7.6      -4.8      -1.8        6.2

                  Accommodation and Food Services

72       Accommodation and food services                        11412      -0.6      -4.9      -4.4      -3.5        1.5
721      Accommodation                                           1793      -1.6      -8.6      -7.1      -8.2        0.4
7211     Traveler accommodation                                  1719      -1.9      -9.0      -7.2      -8.4        0.6
722      Food services and drinking places                       9619       0.3      -3.5      -3.8      -1.9        1.6
7221     Full-service restaurants                                4511       0.3      -3.5      -3.8      -2.0        1.6
7222     Limited-service eating places                           4098       1.2      -2.5      -3.6      -0.2        2.3
7223     Special food services                                    653      -5.2      -8.3      -3.2      -8.0        0.2
7224     Drinking places (alcoholic beverages)                    358       3.8      -2.7      -6.3       0.0        2.8

                           Other Services

8111     Automotive repair and maintenance                       1074      -4.7      -9.2      -4.7      -3.6        6.1
81142    Reupholstery and furniture repair                         22      -2.7     -15.6     -13.3     -13.9        2.0
81211    Hair, nail and skin care services                        956      -6.0      -2.9       3.3       3.4        6.4
81221    Funeral homes and funeral services                       104       1.6      -5.0      -6.5      -4.4        0.6
8123     Drycleaning and laundry services                         340      10.1      -3.2     -12.1      -6.7       -3.6
81231    Coin-operated laundries and drycleaners                   44       7.7      -4.0     -10.9     -12.1       -8.4
81232    Drycleaning and laundry services                         167      11.6      -5.7     -15.5      -8.4       -2.8
81233    Linen and uniform supply                                 129       8.5      -0.9      -8.6      -4.3       -3.4
81292    Photofinishing                                            19      24.7      -5.6     -24.3     -17.2      -12.3


Table 2.  Average annual percent change in output per hour, output, hours, compensation, and unit labor costs, 1987-2009

                                                                   Average annual percent change, 1987-2009
                                                             ----------------------------------------------------
 NAICS                        Industry                         Output                        Labor     Unit labor
 code                                                         per hour   Output    Hours  compensation   costs

                          Mining Industries

21       Mining                                                  0.2      -0.2      -0.4       4.6       4.8
211      Oil and gas extraction                                  0.7      -0.5      -1.2       5.2       5.7
2111     Oil and gas extraction                                  0.7      -0.5      -1.2       5.2       5.7
212      Mining, except oil and gas                              1.8       0.2      -1.6       1.9       1.7
2121     Coal mining                                             2.0      -0.3      -2.3       0.7       1.1
2122     Metal ore mining                                        2.4       1.7      -0.7       4.0       2.2
2123     Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying                0.7      -0.5      -1.2       2.7       3.2
213      Support activities for mining                           2.6       4.1       1.4       7.5       3.3
2131     Support activities for mining                           2.6       4.1       1.4       7.5       3.3

                              Utilities

2211     Power generation and supply                             2.2       0.9      -1.3       2.8       1.9
2212     Natural gas distribution                                2.5       1.1      -1.3       3.4       2.3

                   Transportation and Warehousing

481      Air transportation                                      2.8       2.7      -0.1       2.8       0.1
482111   Line-haul railroads                                     4.0       1.4      -2.4       0.9      -0.5
484      Truck Transportation (1)                                0.1       1.2       1.1       2.4       1.2
4841     General freight trucking (1)                            0.8       1.8       1.0       3.2       1.4
48411    General freight trucking, local (1)                     2.3       3.1       0.7       3.8       0.7
48412    General freight trucking, long-distance                 0.9       1.9       0.9       2.3       0.4
48421    Used household and office goods moving                 -0.5      -1.0      -0.4       1.9       2.9
491      Postal service                                          1.0       0.1      -0.8       3.5       3.4
4911     Postal service                                          1.0       0.1      -0.8       3.5       3.4
492      Couriers and messengers                                -0.4       1.6       2.0       4.2       2.6
493      Warehousing and storage (1)                             2.6       5.5       2.8       5.5       0.0
4931     Warehousing and storage (1)                             2.6       5.5       2.8       5.5       0.0
49311    General warehousing and storage (1)                     5.0       7.9       2.8       6.0      -1.7
49312    Refrigerated warehousing and storage (1)               -0.6       2.8       3.4       4.4       1.6

                             Information

511      Publishing                                              3.7       3.6      -0.1       5.2       1.5
5111     Newspaper, book, and directory publishers              -0.1      -1.6      -1.5       2.7       4.4
5112     Software publishers                                    13.9      20.9       6.2      11.7      -7.7
51213    Motion picture and video exhibition                     1.6       2.0       0.4       3.6       1.6
515      Broadcasting, except internet                           1.6       2.5       0.9       4.8       2.2
5151     Radio and television broadcasting                       0.5       0.4      -0.1       3.6       3.2
5152     Cable and other subscription programming                3.5       7.9       4.2      10.7       2.6
5171     Wired telecommunications carriers                       4.1       3.4      -0.7       2.5      -0.9
5172     Wireless telecommunications carriers                   10.2      21.8      10.5      14.0      -6.3

                        Finance and Insurance

52211    Commercial banking                                      3.6       3.5      -0.1       5.6       2.0

                 Real Estate and Rental and Leasing

532111   Passenger car rental                                    1.8       2.2       0.4       4.7       2.5
53212    Truck, trailer and RV rental and leasing                2.9       2.1      -0.8       3.1       0.9
53223    Video tape and disc rental                              4.3       3.2      -1.0       2.3      -0.9

                 Professional and Technical Services

541213   Tax preparation services                                0.4       2.9       2.5       4.2       1.3
54131    Architectural services                                  1.3       2.6       1.2       4.6       2.0
54133    Engineering services                                    1.2       3.0       1.8       6.4       3.3
54181    Advertising agencies                                    1.8       2.0       0.1       4.4       2.4
541921   Photography studios, portrait                          -0.2       2.0       2.2       4.2       2.2

                  Administrative and Waste Services

561311   Employment placement agencies (2)                       6.8       6.9       0.1       5.3      -1.5
56151    Travel agencies                                         5.5       3.6      -1.8       2.9      -0.6
56172    Janitorial services                                     1.9       3.6       1.7       5.6       1.9

                  Health Care and Social Assistance

6215     Medical and diagnostic laboratories (2)                 3.7       6.7       2.8       6.1      -0.6
621511   Medical laboratories (2)                                3.3       5.8       2.4       5.4      -0.4
621512   Diagnostic imaging centers (2)                          4.1       8.2       4.0       7.7      -0.4

                 Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation

71311    Amusement and theme parks                              -0.3       2.5       2.7       6.0       3.5
71395    Bowling centers                                         0.2      -1.8      -2.0       1.2       3.0

                   Accommodation and Food Services

72       Accommodation and food services                         0.8       2.1       1.2       5.0       2.9
721      Accommodation                                           1.5       2.3       0.8       4.6       2.2
7211     Traveler accommodation                                  1.6       2.4       0.8       4.6       2.2
722      Food services and drinking places                       0.6       2.0       1.4       5.2       3.1
7221     Full-service restaurants                                0.6       2.0       1.4       6.0       3.9
7222     Limited-service eating places                           0.6       2.2       1.6       5.1       2.8
7223     Special food services                                   1.4       2.4       0.9       3.5       1.1
7224     Drinking places (alcoholic beverages)                  -0.4      -0.8      -0.4       2.2       3.0

                           Other Services

8111     Automotive repair and maintenance                       0.7       1.1       0.4       3.7       2.6
81142    Reupholstery and furniture repair                      -0.7      -3.2      -2.4       0.3       3.6
81211    Hair, nail and skin care services                       1.9       2.9       0.9       5.3       2.3
81221    Funeral homes and funeral services                     -0.6      -0.5       0.0       3.9       4.5
8123     Drycleaning and laundry services                        1.3       0.4      -0.9       2.7       2.3
81231    Coin-operated laundries and drycleaners                 2.1       0.3      -1.7       2.4       2.0
81232    Drycleaning and laundry services                        1.0      -0.9      -1.9       1.3       2.2
81233    Linen and uniform supply                                0.7       1.6       0.9       4.2       2.6
81292    Photofinishing                                          1.5      -5.0      -6.4      -3.0       2.1


(1) For NAICS industries 484, 4841, 48411, 493, 4931, 49311, and 49312, average annual percent changes are for 1992-2009.
(2) For NAICS industries 561311, 6215, 621511, and 621512, average annual percent changes are for 1994-2009.

Last Modified Date: May 26, 2011