First drop in multifactor productivity since 1991

April 09, 2003

Multifactor productivity—measured as output per unit of combined labor and capital inputs—fell by 1.0 percent in the private nonfarm business sector in 2001. This was the first decrease since 1991.

Annual percent change in multifactor productivity in private nonfarm business, 1990-2001
[Chart data—TXT]

The multifactor productivity decline in 2001 reflected a 0.1-percent decrease in output and a 1.0-percent increase in the combined inputs of capital and labor. Capital services grew by 4.1 percent, while labor input fell by 0.4 percent.

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, 2001," news release USDL 03-158.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, First drop in multifactor productivity since 1991 on the Internet at (visited January 20, 2018).


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