March 06, 2009
In the nonfarm business sector, productivity—as measured by output per hour—decreased at an annual rate of 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, as output decreased 8.7 percent and hours of all persons decreased 8.3 percent. Productivity growth for the fourth quarter was originally estimated at 3.2 percent.
The decline in nonfarm business output was the largest since the first quarter of 1982 and the decline in hours was the largest since the first quarter of 1975.
Productivity increased 2.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2008.
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, Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages for 2008, Revised" (PDF) (HTML), news release USDL 09-0223.