Productivity and Costs by Industry: Selected Service-Providing Industries, 2019
Last Modified Date: May 28, 2020
For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, May 28, 2020 USDL-20-1103
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PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS BY INDUSTRY
SELECTED SERVICE-PROVIDING INDUSTRIES -- 2019
Labor productivity rose in 14 of 29 selected service-providing industries in 2019, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was one-third fewer industries compared to 2018
when labor productivity increased in 21 of 29 industries. Output increased in 17 industries in
2019 while hours worked increased in 18 industries.
Trends in Labor Productivity in 2019
Labor productivity increased in 14 of 29 industries in 2019. Among those with increasing
productivity, output grew in 9 industries and hours worked grew in 5 industries.
Productivity gains of at least 6.0 percent occurred in 2 industries: wireless
telecommunications carriers (13.2 percent) and gambling industries (8.8 percent). In both
industries, output increases coincided with declines in hours worked.
Hours worked grew in 18 of the 29 industries.
Hours worked increased in 13 out of the 15 industries which recorded declines in
productivity. Of these, the largest gains in hours worked were in couriers and messengers
(13.4 percent) and truck, utility trailer, and RV rental and leasing (8.1 percent); all
other industries had gains of 4.0 percent or less.
Unit labor costs declined in 5 industries in 2019. Each of the industries with a decline in
unit labor costs also recorded an increase in productivity. Increases in labor productivity
counter the impact of rising hourly compensation on unit labor costs facing employers.
Trends in Unit Labor Costs in 2019
The largest declines in unit labor costs were in periodical publishers (-6.7 percent) and
gambling industries (-5.3 percent). Productivity grew in both industries while hourly
compensation fell in periodical publishers and rose in gambling industries.
All unit labor cost declines occurred in industries where productivity rose.
Each of the industries where productivity fell also recorded an increase in unit labor
Hourly compensation rose in 27 of the 29 industries measured.
Long Term Productivity Trends
Over the long term, productivity rose in 46 out of 58 service-providing industries. For the
majority of the industries studied, this period extends from 1987 to 2018.
Median long term productivity growth for all 58 industries was approximately 1.5 percent
Output increased over the long term in 45 industries while hours worked increased in 38
Productivity increased in 41 of the 58 industries in the period from 2007 to 2018 that
began with a severe recession. During this period, only 38 industries had increases in
output and 25 experienced growth in hours worked.
Time periods for data covered by this release precede, and are therefore not impacted by,
The productivity and costs measures in this release incorporate data from the Census Bureaus
Service Annual Survey (November 2019) and Nonemployer Statistics (June 2019). Accordingly, the
labor productivity and output series for all industries have been revised for 2018 and earlier
Access the productivity data dashboard at www.bls.gov/lpc/lpc_by_industry_dashboard.xlsx for
Additional industries and sectors
Detailed data series: indexes of productivity and related measures; rates of change; and
levels of industry employment, hours worked, nominal value of production, and labor
Additional years and long-term data
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