May 11, 2011
During the first quarter of 2011, nonfarm business sector labor productivity—as measured by output per hour— increased at a 1.6-percent annual rate. The gain in productivity reflects increases of 3.1 percent in output and 1.4 percent in hours worked. Manufacturing sector productivity grew 6.3 percent, as output and hours worked increased 9.7 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.
From the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011, output increased 3.2 percent while hours rose 1.9 percent, yielding an increase in productivity of 1.3 percent.
Over the last four quarters, manufacturing productivity increased 4.7 percent. In the first quarter of 2011, productivity increased 9.8 percent in the durable goods sector and 4.5 percent in the nondurable goods sector. In durable goods industries, a 16.4 percent jump in output outweighed a 6.1-percent increase in hours worked; this gain in output is the largest in the series. Nondurable goods production rose 3.3 percent while hours fell 1.2 percent.
These data are from the Productivity and Costs program and are subject to revision. For more information, see "Productivity and Costs: First Quarter 2011, Preliminary" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-11-0621.