April 11, 2001
Multifactor productivity—measured as output per unit of combined labor and capital inputs—rose by 0.6 percent in the private nonfarm business sector in 1999. This was the eighth consecutive year of growth, but the lowest increase since 1995.
The multifactor productivity gain in 1999 reflected a 4.7-percent increase in output and a 4.1-percent increase in the combined inputs of capital and labor.
In 1999, capital services grew by 6.6 percent, while labor input grew by 2.9 percent. Capital services showed the steepest gain since the series started in 1948.
Multifactor productivity is designed to measure the joint influences on economic growth of technological change, efficiency improvements, returns to scale, reallocation of resources, and other factors. Multifactor productivity, therefore, differs from the labor productivity (output per hour) measures that are published quarterly by BLS since it requires information on capital services and other data that are not available on a quarterly basis.
These data are a product of the BLS Multifactor Productivity program. Data are subject to revision. Additional information is available in "Multifactor Productivity Trends, 1999" news release USDL 01-82.