August 12, 2009
Productivity gains—as measured by output per hour of all persons—of 6.3 percent in the business sector and 6.4 percent in the nonfarm business sector in the second quarter of 2009 were the largest since the third quarter of 2003, according to preliminary estimates.
These seasonally adjusted annual rates of productivity change in the business and nonfarm business sector, 6.3 and 6.4 percent, respectively, were due to hours worked declining faster than output.
The preliminary productivity change in the second quarter was 5.3 percent in manufacturing. Within manufacturing, the productivity changes were 3.9 percent in durable goods manufacturing and 2.0 percent in nondurable goods manufacturing. The increases in productivity in all manufacturing sectors were the result of hours falling faster than output. Output and hours in manufacturing, which includes about 11 percent of U.S. business-sector employment, tend to vary more from quarter to quarter than data for the aggregate business and nonfarm business sectors.
These seasonally adjusted data are from the Productivity and Costs program and are subject to revision. More data on productivity, output, hours, and related measures can be found in "Productivity and Costs: Second Quarter 2009, Preliminary" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-09-0933.