June 05, 2009
During the first quarter of 2009, productivity—as measured by output per hour—rose 1.6 percent in the nonfarm business sector; output fell 7.6 percent and hours of all persons fell 9.0 percent. Productivity growth for the first quarter was originally estimated at 0.8 percent.
The decrease in hours, 9.0 percent, was the largest since the first quarter of 1975, when hours fell 12.0 percent.
Over the last four quarters, productivity in the nonfarm business sector grew 1.9 percent. This growth rate was lower than the 2.5-percent average rate of growth from 2000 to 2007.
These data are from the BLS Productivity and Costs program. Data in this report are seasonally adjusted annual rates. These estimates are subject to revision. Additional information is available in "Productivity and Costs, First Quarter 2009, Revised" (PDF) (HTML), news release USDL 09-0587.