September 22, 2000
Multifactor productivity—measured as output per unit of combined labor and capital inputs—increased by 1.5 percent in the private nonfarm business sector in 1998. This was the seventh consecutive year of growth.
Output rose at its fastest rate since 1984, 5.2 percent. The growth of combined units of capital and labor inputs, 3.7 percent, was slower than in 1997, but faster than the average for the 1990s.
Labor input grew 2.7 percent in 1998; most of this growth was due to increased employment.
Capital services continued to accelerate, jumping 5.6 percent, the largest gain since 1974. The fastest growing components of capital services were equipment and inventories. Equipment posted its steepest gain since 1980.
These data are a product of the BLS Multifactor Productivity program. Data are subject to revision. Additional information is available in "Multifactor Productivity Trends, 1998" news release USDL 00-267.