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Productivity decreased 0.4 percent from Q2 2015 to Q2 2016

August 12, 2016

From the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2016, nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 0.4 percent, as output rose 1.1 percent and hours worked rose 1.5 percent. The decline in productivity represents the first over-the-year decline since a 0.6-percent decrease in the second quarter of 2013. Manufacturing productivity increased 0.9 percent from the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2016, with output rising 0.3 percent and hours worked declining 0.6 percent.

Percent change in productivity measures from same quarter in previous year, Q1 2006–Q2 2016
Quarter Nonfarm business Business
Labor productivity Hours worked Output Real hourly compensation Unit labor costs Labor productivity Hours worked Output Real hourly compensation Unit labor costs

Q1 2006

1.3% 2.4% 3.8% 0.8% 3.2% 1.4% 2.3% 3.7% 0.8% 3.2%

Q2 2006

1.3 2.1 3.4 0.2 2.7 1.6 1.8 3.5 0.3 2.5

Q3 2006

0.2 2.4 2.6 -0.4 2.8 0.2 2.3 2.5 -0.4 2.7

Q4 2006

0.9 2.1 3.0 2.1 3.2 0.7 2.2 2.9 1.9 3.2

Q1 2007

0.4 1.2 1.5 2.0 4.1 0.1 1.4 1.5 1.8 4.2

Q2 2007

1.1 1.3 2.4 1.7 3.3 0.9 1.1 2.1 1.9 3.6

Q3 2007

2.7 0.4 3.1 2.2 1.8 2.6 0.2 2.8 2.5 2.2

Q4 2007

2.3 -0.2 2.2 -0.2 1.5 2.3 -0.2 2.1 0.0 1.7

Q1 2008

1.2 -0.4 0.7 -1.7 1.1 1.3 -0.5 0.8 -1.6 1.1

Q2 2008

1.5 -1.3 0.2 -1.8 0.9 1.5 -1.2 0.3 -1.9 0.9

Q3 2008

0.6 -2.0 -1.4 -2.1 2.3 0.6 -1.9 -1.3 -2.3 2.2

Q4 2008

-0.4 -4.2 -4.7 1.4 3.4 -0.3 -4.2 -4.4 1.3 3.2

Q1 2009

1.4 -6.5 -5.2 -0.4 -1.9 1.4 -6.4 -5.1 -0.4 -1.9

Q2 2009

2.3 -8.1 -6.0 2.8 -0.5 2.3 -7.9 -5.8 2.6 -0.6

Q3 2009

3.5 -8.2 -5.0 3.3 -1.8 3.7 -8.1 -4.6 3.3 -2.1

Q4 2009

5.4 -5.8 -0.7 -0.3 -4.0 5.6 -5.9 -0.6 -0.3 -4.2

Q1 2010

5.2 -3.2 1.8 0.7 -2.0 5.2 -3.3 1.8 0.6 -2.1

Q2 2010

3.6 -0.3 3.2 0.0 -1.8 3.6 -0.3 3.3 -0.1 -1.9

Q3 2010

2.6 1.4 4.1 0.3 -1.1 2.6 1.4 4.0 0.2 -1.1

Q4 2010

1.8 1.9 3.7 0.1 -0.4 1.6 1.9 3.6 0.0 -0.4

Q1 2011

0.4 2.1 2.5 1.7 3.4 0.4 2.1 2.5 1.5 3.3

Q2 2011

0.4 2.1 2.4 -1.2 1.7 0.3 2.0 2.2 -1.2 1.8

Q3 2011

-0.3 2.0 1.7 -1.4 2.6 -0.5 2.0 1.5 -1.5 2.7

Q4 2011

0.0 2.2 2.2 -2.7 0.5 0.0 2.2 2.2 -2.7 0.6

Q1 2012

1.0 2.7 3.8 -1.7 0.0 0.8 2.7 3.6 -1.6 0.3

Q2 2012

1.3 2.1 3.4 0.3 0.9 1.1 2.1 3.3 0.4 1.1

Q3 2012

1.3 2.0 3.4 0.0 0.4 1.1 2.0 3.1 0.1 0.7

Q4 2012

0.0 1.9 2.0 3.6 5.6 -0.2 1.8 1.7 3.8 6.0

Q1 2013

0.2 1.5 1.7 -0.8 0.8 0.5 1.3 1.7 -0.5 0.8

Q2 2013

-0.6 1.8 1.2 0.4 2.4 -0.1 1.5 1.4 0.7 2.2

Q3 2013

0.1 1.8 1.9 0.5 2.0 0.6 1.7 2.3 0.7 1.6

Q4 2013

1.6 1.6 3.2 -1.3 -1.6 2.0 1.6 3.6 -1.3 -2.0

Q1 2014

0.3 1.7 2.0 2.3 3.4 0.4 1.7 2.1 2.2 3.3

Q2 2014

1.0 2.1 3.1 -0.1 0.9 0.9 2.2 3.1 -0.3 0.9

Q3 2014

1.6 2.2 3.8 0.8 1.0 1.3 2.3 3.6 0.6 1.0

Q4 2014

0.2 2.9 3.1 1.7 2.7 -0.1 3.1 3.0 1.5 2.8

Q1 2015

1.4 2.7 4.2 2.0 0.5 1.0 3.1 4.1 1.6 0.5

Q2 2015

1.2 2.5 3.7 3.5 2.3 0.9 2.7 3.6 3.3 2.3

Q3 2015

0.7 1.8 2.5 3.1 2.6 0.7 1.9 2.6 3.1 2.5

Q4 2015

0.4 1.6 2.0 2.7 2.7 0.5 1.6 2.1 2.7 2.6

Q1 2016

0.0 1.6 1.6 1.4 2.5 0.1 1.6 1.7 1.4 2.4

Q2 2016

-0.4 1.5 1.1 0.6 2.1 -0.4 1.7 1.3 0.4 1.9
Percent change in productivity measures from same quarter in previous year, Q1 2006–Q2 2016
Quarter Manufacturing Durable goods manufacturing
Labor productivity Hours worked Output Real hourly compensation Unit labor costs Labor productivity Hours worked Output Real hourly compensation Unit labor costs

Q1 2006

3.5% 0.8% 4.3% -0.2% 0.0% 4.1% 1.5% 5.6% 0.2% -0.1%

Q2 2006

2.3 1.9 4.2 -2.3 -0.7 2.5 2.8 5.3 -1.8 -0.4

Q3 2006

3.3 1.3 4.6 -2.3 -2.2 3.5 1.3 4.9 -1.8 -2.0

Q4 2006

4.0 -0.9 3.1 1.7 -0.2 2.9 -1.0 1.9 2.8 1.8

Q1 2007

4.4 -1.8 2.4 1.4 -0.5 4.4 -2.1 2.2 1.8 -0.2

Q2 2007

5.8 -1.8 3.9 1.9 -1.1 7.0 -2.4 4.4 2.1 -2.0

Q3 2007

6.5 -1.6 4.8 1.9 -2.0 6.9 -1.5 5.3 2.1 -2.3

Q4 2007

8.1 -1.6 6.4 -0.8 -4.5 9.1 -2.1 6.8 -1.0 -5.6

Q1 2008

9.4 -1.9 7.3 -2.6 -7.3 8.8 -1.9 6.7 -3.5 -7.6

Q2 2008

7.1 -2.7 4.2 -2.3 -4.8 5.0 -2.5 2.3 -2.6 -3.2

Q3 2008

3.0 -4.2 -1.3 -2.0 0.1 2.2 -5.1 -3.0 -1.9 1.0

Q4 2008

-3.8 -7.1 -10.6 2.8 8.5 -6.6 -7.4 -13.6 2.5 11.5

Q1 2009

-10.0 -11.7 -20.6 2.7 14.0 -12.5 -13.4 -24.2 2.7 17.2

Q2 2009

-10.2 -15.1 -23.7 5.6 16.5 -12.1 -17.9 -27.9 6.5 20.1

Q3 2009

-6.2 -14.1 -19.5 5.3 10.6 -7.2 -16.6 -22.7 5.7 12.1

Q4 2009

-0.2 -10.6 -10.8 1.1 2.9 0.7 -13.2 -12.6 2.1 2.9

Q1 2010

7.7 -4.8 2.5 -0.4 -5.3 9.5 -6.5 2.4 -0.2 -6.7

Q2 2010

12.5 0.1 12.6 -0.5 -10.0 15.2 -0.4 14.7 -0.1 -11.8

Q3 2010

11.6 2.4 14.3 -0.2 -9.5 11.8 3.0 15.1 -0.2 -9.7

Q4 2010

10.9 2.4 13.6 -0.4 -9.1 10.6 3.4 14.3 -0.7 -9.1

Q1 2011

8.9 2.5 11.6 1.8 -4.5 8.8 3.9 13.1 2.9 -3.4

Q2 2011

5.1 2.3 7.6 -1.6 -3.3 3.5 4.6 8.2 -2.3 -2.4

Q3 2011

5.1 1.1 6.3 -1.7 -3.0 4.3 2.7 7.1 -1.6 -2.2

Q4 2011

3.3 2.5 5.8 -3.8 -3.7 2.9 4.2 7.2 -4.0 -3.6

Q1 2012

2.7 2.7 5.4 -1.9 -1.7 2.9 3.9 6.9 -2.1 -2.2

Q2 2012

2.6 2.5 5.1 -0.2 -0.8 3.9 3.2 7.2 -0.3 -2.2

Q3 2012

0.7 2.6 3.4 -0.6 0.3 1.3 3.2 4.6 -1.3 -0.9

Q4 2012

1.1 1.4 2.5 1.4 2.3 1.8 1.4 3.2 1.3 1.5

Q1 2013

0.4 1.2 1.5 -1.8 -0.5 0.1 1.5 1.5 -2.8 -1.2

Q2 2013

0.7 0.1 0.9 -0.9 -0.3 0.3 0.2 0.5 -1.6 -0.5

Q3 2013

0.3 0.4 0.7 -0.5 0.7 0.4 0.7 1.0 -0.7 0.5

Q4 2013

-0.6 1.3 0.8 -1.6 0.2 -0.2 1.9 1.7 -2.7 -1.2

Q1 2014

-0.5 0.5 0.0 1.9 3.8 0.3 0.7 1.0 1.3 2.4

Q2 2014

-0.4 2.0 1.5 -0.3 2.2 0.3 2.6 3.0 -0.8 0.9

Q3 2014

0.5 1.9 2.4 0.6 1.8 1.0 2.9 3.9 -0.1 0.7

Q4 2014

0.7 1.9 2.6 2.4 2.9 1.0 2.2 3.3 2.6 2.8

Q1 2015

0.1 2.3 2.4 0.7 0.5 -0.4 2.5 2.1 1.2 1.5

Q2 2015

0.0 1.2 1.2 2.6 2.6 -0.4 0.9 0.5 3.1 3.5

Q3 2015

0.6 0.4 1.0 2.7 2.3 0.7 -0.5 0.2 3.1 2.5

Q4 2015

0.6 -0.4 0.1 3.5 3.4 0.2 -0.9 -0.7 4.0 4.2

Q1 2016

1.4 -0.7 0.7 2.2 1.9 1.2 -0.9 0.3 1.9 1.7

Q2 2016

0.9 -0.6 0.3 1.5 1.7 1.3 -1.0 0.3 1.2 1.0
Percent change in productivity measures from same quarter in previous year, Q1 2006–Q2 2016
Quarter Nondurable goods manufacturing
Labor productivity Hours worked Output Real hourly compensation Unit labor costs

Q1 2006

1.2% -0.3% 0.9% -1.3% 1.2%

Q2 2006

0.2 0.3 0.4 -3.5 0.1

Q3 2006

0.5 1.3 1.9 -3.1 -0.4

Q4 2006

3.0 -0.8 2.2 -0.3 -1.3

Q1 2007

2.7 -1.4 1.3 0.6 0.4

Q2 2007

2.8 -0.7 2.0 1.6 1.5

Q3 2007

4.0 -1.6 2.3 1.5 -0.1

Q4 2007

3.4 -0.7 2.7 -0.3 0.3

Q1 2008

4.9 -2.1 2.7 -0.9 -1.6

Q2 2008

4.1 -2.9 1.0 -1.7 -1.5

Q3 2008

-0.6 -2.7 -3.3 -1.9 3.9

Q4 2008

-1.8 -6.6 -8.2 3.4 7.0

Q1 2009

-5.4 -8.8 -13.8 3.2 9.0

Q2 2009

-5.1 -10.0 -14.6 4.7 9.4

Q3 2009

-1.6 -9.8 -11.3 5.4 5.4

Q4 2009

0.6 -6.1 -5.5 0.1 0.9

Q1 2010

4.7 -2.1 2.5 -0.5 -2.8

Q2 2010

6.8 0.8 7.7 -1.1 -5.8

Q3 2010

7.4 1.5 9.0 -0.3 -6.1

Q4 2010

6.9 0.9 7.8 -0.1 -5.4

Q1 2011

5.5 0.2 5.7 -0.3 -3.5

Q2 2011

4.6 -1.3 3.3 -0.9 -2.1

Q3 2011

3.9 -1.3 2.6 -2.3 -2.5

Q4 2011

2.5 -0.3 2.2 -3.8 -3.0

Q1 2012

1.7 0.7 2.3 -1.7 -0.6

Q2 2012

0.6 1.2 1.8 -0.1 1.2

Q3 2012

-0.1 1.6 1.5 0.4 2.2

Q4 2012

0.2 1.5 1.7 1.6 3.4

Q1 2013

1.1 0.7 1.8 -0.1 0.5

Q2 2013

1.7 0.0 1.8 0.2 -0.1

Q3 2013

1.0 -0.1 0.9 -0.3 0.2

Q4 2013

-0.1 0.4 0.3 0.3 1.7

Q1 2014

-0.9 0.2 -0.7 2.9 5.3

Q2 2014

-0.7 0.8 0.2 0.5 3.3

Q3 2014

0.7 0.2 1.0 1.8 2.8

Q4 2014

0.7 1.3 2.0 2.0 2.6

Q1 2015

0.8 1.8 2.7 -0.3 -1.2

Q2 2015

0.3 1.7 2.0 1.7 1.5

Q3 2015

0.0 1.9 1.9 2.3 2.4

Q4 2015

0.7 0.4 1.1 2.7 2.4

Q1 2016

1.5 -0.4 1.0 2.7 2.3

Q2 2016

0.3 -0.1 0.3 2.3 3.0

Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 2.1 percent from the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2016. Over the same period, unit labor costs in manufacturing increased 1.7 percent.

These data are from the Labor Productivity and Costs program. All percent changes shown are subject to revision. To learn more, see "Productivity and Costs — Second Quarter 2016, Preliminary" (HTML) (PDF). Labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of hours worked for all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers. Unit labor costs are the ratio of hourly compensation to labor productivity. Increases in hourly compensation raise unit labor costs, and increases in output per hour reduce unit labor costs.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Productivity decreased 0.4 percent from Q2 2015 to Q2 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/productivity-decreased-0-point-4-percent-from-q2-2015-to-q2-2016.htm (visited November 16, 2019).

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