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Productivity up in most of largest retail trade industries

December 31, 2003

In 2002, labor productivity—as measured by output per hour—rose in four of the six largest retail trade industries (those with more than one million employees).

Percent change in output per hour, largest retail trade industries, 2001-02
[Chart data—TXT]

Productivity increased 10.9 percent in other general merchandise stores (such as warehouse clubs, catalog showrooms, and dollar stores), 6.2 percent in clothing stores, 3.9 percent in building material and supplies dealers, and 3.1 percent in grocery stores.

Labor productivity declined 1.0 percent for department stores and 2.6 percent for automobile dealers.

Productivity grew 4.2 percent in the entire retail trade sector in 2002. Output increased by 3.3 percent while hours fell by 0.9 percent.

This information is from the BLS Productivity and Costs program. Data are subject to revision. Additional information is available from "Productivity and Costs: Wholesale Trade, Retail Trade, And Food Services And Drinking Places, 2002" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 03-972. The "other general merchandise stores" industry is made up of establishments primarily engaged in retailing new goods in general merchandise stores (except department stores).


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Productivity up in most of largest retail trade industries at (visited May 28, 2024).

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