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New Spotlight on labor productivity trends by industry

Friday, March 15, 2013

Have you been wondering how recent productivity growth has varied by industry and how these trends relate to recent changes in hours worked, employment, prices, or compensation in the industries?  Wonder no more, because this week BLS published a new edition of Spotlight on Statistics that examines industry labor productivity trends from 2000 to 2010. The Spotlight features charts and analysis of trends in how efficiently labor is used in the production of goods and services. Labor productivity rose for most industries during the first decade of the millennium. From 2000 to 2007, productivity growth averaged between 0 and 4 percent per year in most of the industries studied. During the recessionary period from 2007 to 2009, productivity declined in over half of the industries studied. Subsequently, many industries recorded very large increases in productivity from 2009 to 2010, the first year of the recovery.

The productivity growth over the decade was fueled by the expansion of information technology. Productivity grew most rapidly in the information sector, while the manufacturing, retail trade, and wholesale trade sectors also had notable productivity increases. Productivity declined slightly in other services and more rapidly in the mining sector.