February 04, 2005
Productivity, as measured by output per hour, increased 4.1 percent in the nonfarm business sector in 2004, reflecting increases of 5.3 percent in output and 1.1 percent in hours.
During 2003, output per hour increased 4.4 percent in nonfarm business, as output rose 3.8 percent and hours of all persons fell 0.6 percent. Nonfarm productivity also had increased 4.4 percent in 2002.
When the productivity increases for 2002, 2003, and 2004 are combined, productivity for the 2001-2004 period rose at an average rate of 4.3 percent in nonfarm businesses. The last comparable three-year rise occurred over the 1948-1951 period, when productivity increased at a 4.2-percent annual rate, incorporating gains of 3.3 percent in 1949, 6.6 percent in 1950, and 2.7 percent in 1951.
These data are a product of the BLS Productivity and Costs program. Data are subject to revision. Additional information is available in "Productivity and Costs, Preliminary Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages for 2004" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 05-177.