Productivity climbs in third quarter

November 07, 2003

Productivity in the nonfarm business sector grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 8.1 percent in the third quarter of 2003.

Growth in productivity (output per hour of all persons), nonfarm business, seasonally adjusted, 2001 IV - 2003 III (percent change from previous quarter at annual rate)
[Chart data—TXT]

Output grew 8.8 percent in the third quarter, faster than at any time since the fourth quarter of 1992, when it increased 9.8 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rates). Hours worked in the nonfarm business sector rose 0.7 percent, reflecting a 0.3-percent gain in employment combined with a 0.4-percent increase in average weekly hours at work.

After revisions, nonfarm business productivity increased 7.0 percent in the second quarter of 2003, as output grew 4.6 percent and hours declined 2.2 percent.

These data are from the BLS Productivity and Costs program. Productivity is measured here as output per hour of all persons. Data are subject to revision. Additional information is available in "Productivity and Costs, Third Quarter 2003" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 03-674.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Productivity climbs in third quarter on the Internet at (visited September 27, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.