Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Labor productivity up 4.6 percent, output up 43.4 percent in third quarter 2020

December 11, 2020

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 4.6 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter of 2020, as output increased 43.4 percent and hours worked increased 37.1 percent. These were the largest gains for output and hours worked since 1947.

Labor productivity (output per hour), output, and hours worked indexes, nonfarm business, 1st quarter 2012 to 3rd quarter 2020
Quarter Output Hours worked Labor productivity (output per hour)

Q1 2012

100.0 100.0 100.0

Q2 2012

100.6 100.1 100.5

Q3 2012

100.8 100.6 100.2

Q4 2012

101.0 101.1 99.9

Q1 2013

102.0 101.5 100.5

Q2 2013

102.0 101.9 100.1

Q3 2013

103.1 102.4 100.6

Q4 2013

104.2 102.8 101.4

Q1 2014

103.7 103.3 100.4

Q2 2014

105.5 104.1 101.4

Q3 2014

107.2 104.7 102.4

Q4 2014

107.9 105.9 101.9

Q1 2015

109.1 106.1 102.8

Q2 2015

110.0 106.6 103.2

Q3 2015

110.4 106.7 103.5

Q4 2015

110.5 107.4 102.9

Q1 2016

111.2 107.8 103.2

Q2 2016

111.5 108.1 103.1

Q3 2016

112.2 108.5 103.5

Q4 2016

113.2 108.7 104.1

Q1 2017

113.8 109.1 104.4

Q2 2017

114.4 109.7 104.3

Q3 2017

115.5 110.0 105.0

Q4 2017

116.8 110.9 105.3

Q1 2018

118.1 111.5 105.9

Q2 2018

118.9 112.0 106.2

Q3 2018

119.6 112.5 106.4

Q4 2018

120.0 112.6 106.6

Q1 2019

121.2 112.7 107.5

Q2 2019

121.5 112.5 108.1

Q3 2019

122.4 113.2 108.1

Q4 2019

123.2 113.5 108.6

Q1 2020

121.2 111.8 108.5

Q2 2020

108.1 97.2 111.2

Q3 2020

118.3 105.1 112.5

The third quarter productivity gain follows an increase of 10.6 percent during the second quarter. This reflected a decline in output of 36.8 percent and a decline in hours worked of 42.9 percent—the largest declines in both series.

These data are from the Labor Productivity and Costs program. To learn more, see "Productivity and Costs — Third Quarter 2020, Revised." Also see Charts related to the latest "Productivity and Costs" news release. 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. All quarterly percent changes in this release are seasonally adjusted annual rates, and show what the percent change would be if the quarterly rate continued for four quarters.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor productivity up 4.6 percent, output up 43.4 percent in third quarter 2020 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/labor-productivity-up-4-6-percent-output-up-43-point-4-percent-in-third-quarter-2020.htm (visited September 24, 2021).

OF INTEREST
spotlight

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

triangle