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Economic News Release
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Productivity and Costs by Industry: Selected Service-Providing Industries - 2020

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Friday, June 11, 2021                                              USDL-21-1020

Technical information: 	(202) 691-5606 
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902

                               PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS BY INDUSTRY
                           SELECTED SERVICE-PROVIDING INDUSTRIES - 2020

Labor productivity fell in 13 of 29 selected service-providing industries in 2020, the U.S. Bureau of 
Labor Statistics reported today. In 2019 labor productivity decreased in 14 of 29 industries. The 
economic downturn in 2020 resulted in output declines in 21 industries and hours worked declines in 24 
industries. More than twice as many industries experienced decreases in 2020 compared to 2019, when 
output fell in 8 industries and hours worked fell in 10 industries.

Trends in Labor Productivity in 2020

      Labor productivity fell in 13 of 29 industries in 2020.
      There were 3 industries where productivity fell more than 38 percent: Air transportation (-57.0 
       percent), travel arrangement and reservation services (-44.7 percent), and amusement parks and 
       arcades (-38.5 percent). In all 3 of those industries, output fell more than 55 percent.
      Productivity increased in 5 industries where declines in hours worked exceeded the decrease in 
       output. In all of those industries, output fell more than 10 percent.
      Hours worked fell in 24 of the 29 industries.
      Hours worked decreased in 14 out of the 16 industries which recorded increases in productivity.
       Of these, the largest declines in hours worked were in gambling industries (-32.8 percent), 
       drycleaning and laundry services (-19.5 percent), and line-haul railroads (-16.3 percent); the 
       other 11 industries had hours worked declines of 11.7 percent or less. 

Unit labor costs increased in 21 industries in 2020. Productivity fell in 13 of the industries with a rise 
in unit labor costs. Changes in labor productivity counter the impact of changes in hourly compensation on 
unit labor costs facing employers. In all 8 industries where both unit labor costs and productivity 
increased, hourly compensation also increased and by a faster rate than productivity.

Trends in Unit Labor Costs in 2020

      The largest increases in unit labor costs were in air transportation (106.9 percent), 
       amusement parks and arcades (76.4 percent), and travel arrangement and reservation 
       services (73.7 percent). Productivity fell by more than 38 percent in all 3 of those industries.
      Unit labor costs rose alongside a drop in productivity in 13 industries. Of the 16 industries 
       where productivity went up, unit labor costs increased in half and decreased in the other half. 
       There were no industries where both unit labor costs and productivity declined.
      Hourly compensation rose in 23 of the 29 industries measured. 

Long term productivity rose in 45 out of 58 service-providing industries. For the majority of 
industries studied, this period extends from 1987 to 2019, the latest year for which data are 
available for all 58 selected service-providing industries published on the BLS website. None of 
the rates in this section incorporate data for 2020.

Trends in Long Term Productivity

      Median long term productivity growth for all 58 industries was approximately 1.4 percent 
       per year.
      Output increased over the long term in 45 industries while hours worked increased in 38 
      Productivity increased in 43 of the 58 industries in the period from 2007 to 2019 that began 
       with a severe recession. During this period, only 41 industries had increases in output and 27 
       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 (December 2020) and Nonemployer Statistics (May 2020). Accordingly, the labor 
productivity and output series for all industries have been revised for 2019 and earlier years.

The COVID-19 pandemic did not impact the availability of source data used to construct productivity 
measures in this release. Data source providers continued to collect and publish high quality industry 
data for 2020. Additional information can be found on the BLS website at

The following NAICS codes are included in Table 1 but not counted in the short-term count of 29 
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, 722511, and 722513,4,5.

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 the productivity data dashboard at 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

Subscribe to productivity news releases on the BLS website at

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice 
phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.


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Last Modified Date: June 11, 2021