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Economic News Release
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Productivity and Costs by Industry: Selected Service-Providing Industries - 2022

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, June 29, 2023                                              USDL-23-1419

Technical information: 	(202) 691-5606    productivity@bls.gov   www.bls.gov/productivity/ 
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902    PressOffice@bls.gov


                               PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS BY INDUSTRY
                           SELECTED SERVICE-PROVIDING INDUSTRIES - 2022


Labor productivity rose in 15 of 30 selected service-providing industries in 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor 
Statistics reported today. This was fewer industries compared to 2021, when labor productivity increased in 
23 out of 30 industries. Output rose in 18 industries in 2022 while hours worked increased in 22 industries.

Four of the six industries with the largest gains in productivity achieved output growth at a faster rate than 
growth in hours worked. This was the case in amusement parks and arcades which had the highest productivity 
growth (+16.3 percent). Four out of the six industries with the greatest declines in productivity had growth 
in hours worked while at the same time output declined. This was the case in drycleaning and laundry services 
which had the largest drop in productivity (-13.6 percent).

Trends in Labor Productivity in 2022

	 Labor productivity rose in half of the 30 selected service-providing industries in 2022.
	 There were three industries where productivity rose more than 10 percent: amusement parks and arcades 
	  (+16.3 percent), travel arrangement and reservation services (+15.5 percent), and air transportation 
	  (+13.9 percent). In all three of those industries, output grew more than 25 percent and hours worked 
	  rose by more than 9 percent.
	 The three industries with the greatest productivity and output gains in 2022 also saw the largest 
	  productivity increases in 2021. In 2021, these three industries all had growth in productivity of 
	  over 48 percent, following similarly large declines in 2020.
	 Hours worked rose in each of the four industries that recorded declines in productivity greater than 
	  6 percent. Two of these industries had double-digit growth in hours worked: warehousing and storage 
	  (+12.6 percent) and drycleaning and laundry services (+12.3 percent). 

Unit labor costs increased in 22 industries in 2022. In 11 of these industries, productivity increased as well. 
Hourly compensation increased more than productivity in all 11 industries with both rising productivity and unit 
labor costs. Unit labor costs reflect the total labor costs required to produce a unit of output. Unit labor 
costs increase when hourly compensation growth exceeds productivity growth. Changes in labor productivity 
counter the impact of changes in hourly compensation on unit labor costs facing employers. 

Trends in Unit Labor Costs in 2022

	 The largest declines in unit labor costs were in air transportation (-9.2 percent), wireless 
	  telecommunications carriers (-8.8 percent), and newspaper publishers (-8.1 percent). Productivity 
	  rose by more than six percent in each of these industries. 
	 Four industries had growth in unit labor costs greater than 15 percent: gambling industries 
	  (+33.1 percent), drycleaning and laundry services (+22.6 percent), warehousing and storage 
	  (+19.9 percent), and full-service restaurants (+15.2 percent). All four industries also had gains in 
	  hours worked and hourly compensation.
	 Hourly compensation rose in 22 of the 30 industries measured.

2019 to 2022 Trends

Labor productivity increased in 23 out of 30 selected service-providing industries from 2019 to 2022. Note that 
the percent changes for periods of more than one year in this section and the following section are annual 
percent changes. The two industries with the highest productivity gains during that period were travel arrangement 
and reservation services (+11.6 percent per year) and radio and television broadcasting (+9.8 percent). The 
largest annual decline in productivity from 2019 to 2022 occurred in warehousing and storage (-9.4 percent).

Output increased in 22 out of 30 selected service-providing industries from 2019 to 2022. The two industries with
the highest increases during that period were software publishers (+12.4 percent per year) and medical and 
diagnostic laboratories (+6.7 percent). The steepest annual declines in output during this period were newspaper 
publishers (-5.3 percent) and drycleaning and laundry services (-4.7 percent).

Hours worked decreased in 16 of the 30 selected service-providing industries from 2019 to 2022. The two industries
with the largest decreases in hours worked over the 3 years were newspaper publishers (-10.6 percent per year) and
travel arrangement and reservation services (-7.9 percent). The industry with the largest increase in hours worked
during this period was warehousing and storage (+15.2 percent).

Trends in Long-Term Productivity Through 2021

Long-term productivity rose in 48 out of 58 service-providing industries. For most industries studied, this period
extends from 1987 to 2021, the latest year for which data are available for all 58 selected service-providing 
industries published on the BLS website. Measures for some industries begin in years later than 1987, however none
of the rates in this section incorporate data for 2022.

	 Median long-term productivity growth for all 58 industries was approximately 1.8 percent per year, 
	  ranging from -2.4 percent per year in couriers and messengers to 11.5 percent in wireless 
	  telecommunications carriers.
	 Output increased over the long-term in 45 industries while hours worked increased in 33 industries.
	 Productivity increased in 40 of the 58 industries over the business cycle preceding the pandemic: 2007 
	  to 2019. During this period, 39 industries had increases in output and 31 experienced growth in hours 
	  worked. 

Additional Information

The productivity and costs measures in this release incorporate data from the Census Bureau's Service Annual 
Survey (November 2022). Accordingly, the labor productivity and output series for all industries have been revised
for 2021 and earlier years.

Measures of hours worked for all industries reflect a change in methods and are revised historically. The new 
method of determining hours worked uses all-employee hours data from the BLS Current Employment Statistics (CES)
survey as the main source of data. This is an improvement upon the prior method which instead used the CES 
production worker hours data. Another improvement is the use of BLS Current Population Survey (CPS) data to adjust 
CES all-employee hours paid to account for hours worked but not paid, also known as off-the-clock hours. Hours 
worked data also now incorporate all-employee based hours-worked-to-hours-paid ratios from the National 
Compensation Survey, rather than ratios based only on production workers. For more information on the new hours 
worked methodology, see
www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2022/article/improving-estimates-of-hours-worked-for-us-productivity-measurement.htm.

The following NAICS codes are included in Tables 1 and 3 but not counted in the short-term count of 30 selected 
industries because they are duplicate codes or aggregates for which full underlying coverage is published:  22, 
221, 484, 4841, 4911, 4931, 511, 5111, 515, 5173, 54121, 722, and 72251.

The following NAICS codes are included in Table 2 but not counted in the long-term count of 58 selected 
industries because they are duplicate codes or aggregates for which full underlying coverage is published:  
22, 221, 484, 4841, 4842, 491, 493, 4931, 511, 5111, 515, 5151, 5173, 5412, 54121, 5615, 6215, 6221,3, 7131, 
72, 721, 7211, 722, 72251, 8121, and 8123.

Access productivity data at http://www.bls.gov/productivity/tables/labor-productivity-detailed-industries.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 compensation 
	 Additional years and long-term data

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Last Modified Date: June 29, 2023