Nonfarm business labor productivity up 2.9 percent in second quarter of 2018

September 10, 2018

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 2.9 percent during the second quarter of 2018, as output increased 5.0 percent and hours worked increased 2.0 percent.

Percent change in hours worked, output, and productivity, nonfarm business sector, first quarter 2008–second quarter 2018, seasonally adjusted
Quarter Hours worked Output Labor productivity

Q1 2008

-1.3% -4.4% -3.1%

Q2 2008

-1.9 1.9 3.9

Q3 2008

-4.3 -3.4 1.0

Q4 2008

-9.5 -11.8 -2.5

Q1 2009

-10.0 -6.5 4.0

Q2 2009

-8.5 -0.8 8.4

Q3 2009

-4.6 1.4 6.4

Q4 2009

0.2 5.8 5.6

Q1 2010

0.1 1.9 1.8

Q2 2010

3.2 4.6 1.3

Q3 2010

2.1 4.5 2.3

Q4 2010

2.0 3.1 1.1

Q1 2011

0.8 -2.1 -2.9

Q2 2011

3.1 4.2 1.1

Q3 2011

1.9 0.0 -1.8

Q4 2011

3.0 5.8 2.7

Q1 2012

3.3 4.8 1.4

Q2 2012

0.5 2.5 2.0

Q3 2012

1.9 0.9 -0.9

Q4 2012

2.0 0.7 -1.3

Q1 2013

1.9 4.1 2.2

Q2 2013

1.3 0.0 -1.2

Q3 2013

2.2 4.1 1.9

Q4 2013

1.4 4.6 3.2

Q1 2014

1.8 -1.6 -3.3

Q2 2014

3.2 6.5 3.2

Q3 2014

2.5 6.4 3.8

Q4 2014

4.5 2.2 -2.2

Q1 2015

0.9 4.1 3.1

Q2 2015

2.0 4.1 2.1

Q3 2015

0.1 0.6 0.5

Q4 2015

3.0 0.1 -2.9

Q1 2016

1.3 1.6 0.3

Q2 2016

1.6 2.5 0.9

Q3 2016

0.9 2.2 1.3

Q4 2016

1.0 2.3 1.3

Q1 2017

1.5 1.9 0.4

Q2 2017

2.2 3.8 1.6

Q3 2017

1.3 3.6 2.3

Q4 2017

3.3 3.0 -0.3

Q1 2018

2.3 2.6 0.3

Q2 2018

2.0 5.0 2.9

Note: Data are percent change from previous quarter at annual rate. Data for the most recent quarter are preliminary.

The 2.9-percent increase in productivity was the largest quarterly gain since an increase of 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2015. The 5.0-percent increase in output was the largest since a 6.4-percent increase in the third quarter of 2014.

These data are from the Labor Productivity and Costs program. To learn more, see Productivity and Costs — Second Quarter 2018, Revised. Also see Charts related to the latest "Productivity and Costs" news release. These quarterly percent changes are seasonally adjusted annual rates. Labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of hours worked by all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Nonfarm business labor productivity up 2.9 percent in second quarter of 2018 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/nonfarm-business-labor-productivity-up-2-point-9-percent-in-second-quarter-of-2018.htm (visited November 17, 2018).

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