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Manufacturing labor productivity decreased 15.5 percent in the second quarter of 2020

August 21, 2020

Manufacturing labor productivity decreased at a 15.5-percent annual rate in the second quarter of 2020, as output fell 47.0 percent and hours worked dropped 37.3 percent. These were the largest quarterly declines ever recorded (data begin in 1987). Total manufacturing productivity declined 4.1 percent over the last four quarters, as output decreased 15.8 percent and hours worked decreased 12.2 percent.

Percent change from previous quarter (annual rate) in labor productivity, output, and hours worked in manufacturing, second quarter 1987 to second quarter 2020
Quarter Manufacturing productivity Durable goods productivity Nondurable goods productivity Manufacturing output Durable goods output Nondurable goods output Manufacturing hours worked Durable goods hours worked Nondurable goods hours worked

Q2 1987

7.4% 7.9% 6.7% 6.3% 5.7% 7.2% -1.1% -2.0% 0.5%

Q3 1987

3.7 3.8 3.5 6.4 6.0 7.3 2.7 2.1 3.6

Q4 1987

2.3 4.2 0.8 10.1 14.8 4.4 7.6 10.2 3.6

Q1 1988

-1.5 -1.4 -1.3 0.6 0.9 0.5 2.1 2.3 1.8

Q2 1988

0.6 0.4 1.7 3.3 5.6 0.7 2.8 5.1 -1.0

Q3 1988

-0.6 -1.2 0.3 0.5 0.2 1.0 1.2 1.5 0.7

Q4 1988

2.2 3.2 1.2 5.0 7.0 2.3 2.7 3.7 1.0

Q1 1989

1.8 1.8 1.3 3.6 3.0 4.1 1.8 1.2 2.8

Q2 1989

-1.7 -1.1 -3.5 -2.2 -3.7 -0.4 -0.5 -2.7 3.2

Q3 1989

-1.2 -1.0 -1.9 -3.2 -3.7 -2.7 -2.0 -2.8 -0.8

Q4 1989

4.7 2.7 6.6 -0.4 -3.2 3.2 -4.8 -5.8 -3.2

Q1 1990

7.5 7.8 6.3 2.6 1.8 3.3 -4.6 -5.6 -2.9

Q2 1990

1.9 4.6 -1.6 2.1 4.8 -1.4 0.2 0.3 0.2

Q3 1990

4.4 4.3 4.1 0.6 -0.2 1.4 -3.7 -4.3 -2.6

Q4 1990

-1.0 -4.8 2.8 -6.8 -12.1 0.0 -5.8 -7.6 -2.8

Q1 1991

-0.7 -1.2 -1.3 -8.5 -11.8 -4.6 -7.9 -10.8 -3.3

Q2 1991

4.2 4.3 4.1 2.4 2.5 2.4 -1.7 -1.8 -1.7

Q3 1991

6.8 10.3 2.4 7.8 10.1 5.3 0.9 -0.2 2.8

Q4 1991

1.7 4.9 -2.7 1.8 2.7 0.9 0.1 -2.1 3.6

Q1 1992

4.2 3.6 5.1 0.9 0.2 1.9 -3.2 -3.3 -3.0

Q2 1992

7.4 13.2 0.4 8.6 12.4 4.4 1.2 -0.7 4.0

Q3 1992

8.7 8.3 9.5 4.5 4.9 4.2 -3.9 -3.2 -4.9

Q4 1992

-0.2 2.1 -2.7 3.6 5.7 1.3 3.8 3.5 4.2

Q1 1993

3.3 4.5 1.8 4.6 5.7 3.4 1.3 1.1 1.6

Q2 1993

-0.4 0.8 -1.9 1.5 2.0 0.9 1.8 1.2 2.8

Q3 1993

-0.1 -1.8 2.5 0.8 0.5 1.4 1.0 2.3 -1.1

Q4 1993

5.3 10.3 -0.2 6.9 12.3 0.7 1.5 1.9 1.0

Q1 1994

2.6 3.2 2.5 4.4 6.5 2.1 1.7 3.2 -0.4

Q2 1994

4.8 5.9 3.7 9.2 11.2 7.0 4.3 4.9 3.2

Q3 1994

1.5 3.0 0.3 5.6 8.7 2.0 4.0 5.6 1.7

Q4 1994

4.7 6.8 2.8 9.7 13.6 5.0 4.7 6.3 2.2

Q1 1995

3.4 5.2 1.7 3.5 6.2 0.4 0.1 0.9 -1.2

Q2 1995

4.7 6.7 2.5 -0.2 1.9 -2.7 -4.7 -4.5 -5.1

Q3 1995

2.4 3.7 1.1 2.1 4.8 -1.1 -0.2 1.0 -2.2

Q4 1995

3.9 6.6 0.6 3.5 6.8 -0.6 -0.4 0.2 -1.2

Q1 1996

5.4 6.1 4.9 0.8 3.2 -2.6 -4.4 -2.7 -7.1

Q2 1996

2.6 4.9 -0.1 8.8 13.1 3.3 6.1 7.8 3.4

Q3 1996

5.2 7.3 2.3 6.7 8.8 3.9 1.4 1.4 1.5

Q4 1996

2.7 2.6 3.1 4.7 5.0 4.3 2.0 2.4 1.2

Q1 1997

5.2 5.6 5.6 8.0 10.6 4.7 2.6 4.8 -0.8

Q2 1997

5.1 7.9 1.8 5.4 8.8 1.3 0.3 0.8 -0.5

Q3 1997

7.0 7.9 6.7 8.6 11.5 5.1 1.5 3.3 -1.6

Q4 1997

5.5 11.0 -1.4 9.4 14.3 3.4 3.7 3.0 4.9

Q1 1998

3.0 3.9 2.6 4.1 6.4 1.4 1.0 2.4 -1.2

Q2 1998

1.7 2.5 0.5 0.0 -0.1 0.2 -1.7 -2.5 -0.3

Q3 1998

6.9 8.4 5.1 1.7 4.5 -2.0 -4.8 -3.6 -6.7

Q4 1998

4.9 10.0 -1.9 7.3 13.9 -1.9 2.2 3.6 0.0

Q1 1999

9.4 10.8 6.1 4.9 4.7 4.3 -4.1 -5.5 -1.6

Q2 1999

5.3 7.0 2.3 3.8 5.6 0.7 -1.5 -1.4 -1.6

Q3 1999

0.1 -0.2 1.1 1.8 4.7 -2.8 1.7 5.0 -3.8

Q4 1999

9.9 7.0 13.7 6.7 4.2 9.9 -2.9 -2.6 -3.4

Q1 2000

2.6 5.6 -1.7 2.7 5.5 -1.3 0.1 -0.1 0.4

Q2 2000

2.0 2.2 1.8 3.3 4.6 1.2 1.3 2.4 -0.6

Q3 2000

-0.1 0.8 -1.6 -1.8 -0.7 -3.6 -1.7 -1.5 -2.0

Q4 2000

3.5 1.0 7.2 -3.2 -4.1 -2.4 -6.5 -5.0 -8.9

Q1 2001

-0.5 -0.6 -1.4 -6.5 -7.6 -5.7 -6.0 -7.0 -4.3

Q2 2001

4.1 4.2 2.6 -5.9 -7.2 -5.1 -9.7 -10.9 -7.5

Q3 2001

1.6 0.1 1.0 -6.5 -10.3 -2.5 -7.9 -10.3 -3.5

Q4 2001

10.8 7.4 12.5 -3.7 -8.8 1.6 -13.1 -15.0 -9.6

Q1 2002

12.6 13.4 9.7 4.7 4.4 3.7 -7.0 -7.9 -5.5

Q2 2002

8.7 9.1 7.1 6.6 7.6 4.1 -1.9 -1.3 -2.8

Q3 2002

8.0 9.1 5.5 3.3 3.9 1.6 -4.3 -4.7 -3.7

Q4 2002

4.9 7.9 -0.2 -0.3 0.0 -1.0 -4.9 -7.3 -0.9

Q1 2003

8.3 7.1 10.2 2.0 1.3 3.1 -5.8 -5.4 -6.4

Q2 2003

4.5 5.1 3.6 -2.4 -2.3 -2.6 -6.6 -7.0 -5.9

Q3 2003

9.3 12.9 4.7 2.2 5.0 -1.4 -6.5 -6.9 -5.8

Q4 2003

-0.1 -0.2 0.3 3.4 5.0 1.1 3.5 5.3 0.8

Q1 2004

-1.3 -3.9 2.1 1.0 0.6 0.8 2.4 4.6 -1.3

Q2 2004

4.4 1.1 8.3 2.0 -0.6 4.6 -2.3 -1.7 -3.4

Q3 2004

3.2 0.7 6.8 3.2 2.4 3.5 -0.1 1.7 -3.1

Q4 2004

7.8 7.2 8.2 6.1 5.9 5.8 -1.6 -1.2 -2.3

Q1 2005

8.6 8.9 8.5 7.2 8.8 5.0 -1.2 -0.1 -3.2

Q2 2005

5.2 5.6 4.7 2.2 2.8 1.3 -2.9 -2.7 -3.3

Q3 2005

-0.5 1.0 -1.1 -1.4 1.5 -4.5 -0.9 0.5 -3.4

Q4 2005

0.6 6.3 -4.9 5.4 11.9 -1.2 4.8 5.2 3.9

Q1 2006

-0.7 -1.4 0.6 2.0 1.2 3.4 2.7 2.7 2.8

Q2 2006

-1.8 -1.8 -0.7 -0.4 1.0 -1.8 1.4 2.8 -1.1

Q3 2006

4.4 5.7 1.5 1.0 0.3 1.6 -3.2 -5.1 0.2

Q4 2006

6.3 4.8 8.1 1.7 1.0 1.9 -4.4 -3.6 -5.8

Q1 2007

5.8 7.0 2.9 4.7 5.1 3.3 -1.0 -1.8 0.4

Q2 2007

4.7 8.2 -0.1 6.4 10.0 1.5 1.7 1.6 1.6

Q3 2007

4.1 3.3 4.6 1.3 1.3 0.7 -2.7 -2.0 -3.8

Q4 2007

5.5 8.7 0.1 1.3 2.5 -0.9 -4.0 -5.7 -1.0

Q1 2008

-0.1 -0.9 0.7 -3.3 -2.6 -5.0 -3.2 -1.7 -5.7

Q2 2008

-5.9 -7.6 -4.7 -7.6 -9.3 -6.7 -1.9 -1.7 -2.1

Q3 2008

-5.0 -4.5 -8.8 -13.3 -15.8 -11.5 -8.7 -11.8 -3.1

Q4 2008

-6.1 -16.0 4.8 -20.4 -28.8 -11.1 -15.2 -15.2 -15.2

Q1 2009

-2.2 -10.6 2.8 -21.9 -31.6 -11.8 -20.1 -23.5 -14.2

Q2 2009

8.9 6.0 6.1 -8.3 -16.1 -1.3 -15.8 -20.8 -7.0

Q3 2009

14.5 21.7 5.7 10.1 15.4 3.9 -3.9 -5.2 -1.7

Q4 2009

8.3 10.0 6.4 7.6 9.4 5.5 -0.7 -0.6 -0.8

Q1 2010

5.4 8.4 2.7 7.1 10.3 4.4 1.7 1.7 1.6

Q2 2010

6.6 10.7 2.4 10.7 14.7 6.7 3.8 3.6 4.2

Q3 2010

-0.8 -1.0 0.5 4.3 6.6 1.5 5.1 7.7 1.0

Q4 2010

2.1 1.7 2.7 1.3 2.5 -0.4 -0.7 0.7 -3.1

Q1 2011

2.1 3.1 1.6 3.8 7.0 -0.3 1.6 3.7 -1.9

Q2 2011

-3.3 -5.5 0.1 -0.4 -0.7 -0.3 3.0 5.1 -0.4

Q3 2011

3.7 6.5 1.1 3.3 5.7 1.3 -0.4 -0.7 0.2

Q4 2011

-3.2 -3.0 -1.0 1.8 4.4 0.0 5.1 7.6 1.1

Q1 2012

-0.7 2.5 -2.6 2.7 6.1 0.7 3.4 3.5 3.3

Q2 2012

-2.4 -1.2 -2.2 -0.4 1.5 -1.6 2.0 2.7 0.6

Q3 2012

-1.3 -2.0 -0.4 -1.0 -2.2 0.9 0.3 -0.2 1.3

Q4 2012

2.0 1.9 2.3 2.1 2.3 2.0 0.2 0.4 -0.3

Q1 2013

2.9 2.1 4.1 5.1 5.5 4.3 2.2 3.4 0.2

Q2 2013

3.5 3.3 3.7 1.3 1.3 1.3 -2.1 -1.9 -2.3

Q3 2013

-1.3 -0.2 -2.3 0.3 1.3 -0.5 1.6 1.5 1.9

Q4 2013

-1.6 -0.2 -2.4 2.2 4.3 0.4 3.9 4.5 2.8

Q1 2014

0.5 1.5 0.3 -1.2 -0.1 -1.6 -1.7 -1.5 -1.8

Q2 2014

0.5 0.5 2.7 4.0 6.0 2.8 3.5 5.5 0.1

Q3 2014

-0.8 -0.7 1.1 1.3 3.1 0.4 2.1 3.8 -0.7

Q4 2014

-4.5 -2.2 -6.8 0.1 0.6 1.1 4.8 2.9 8.4

Q1 2015

-2.6 -2.9 -1.0 -3.8 -4.5 -1.3 -1.1 -1.7 -0.3

Q2 2015

-1.3 -0.9 -1.2 -1.6 -1.9 -0.3 -0.3 -1.0 0.9

Q3 2015

1.8 1.6 2.0 0.4 -0.2 1.6 -1.3 -1.9 -0.4

Q4 2015

-3.6 -6.6 -0.8 -1.7 -5.2 2.0 2.0 1.4 2.8

Q1 2016

2.1 -1.2 5.5 1.4 -1.3 3.7 -0.7 -0.1 -1.7

Q2 2016

-1.3 -0.5 -3.9 -1.7 -2.4 -1.7 -0.4 -1.9 2.2

Q3 2016

0.0 1.8 -3.0 0.9 1.8 -0.7 0.9 0.0 2.5

Q4 2016

1.0 0.4 1.4 1.1 0.6 1.2 0.1 0.2 -0.2

Q1 2017

-1.3 -1.4 -1.0 0.6 1.2 -0.3 1.9 2.6 0.6

Q2 2017

1.9 2.9 -0.6 1.7 1.0 2.3 -0.1 -1.9 2.9

Q3 2017

-5.3 -4.4 -6.9 -2.7 -2.2 -3.4 2.8 2.3 3.7

Q4 2017

3.1 3.8 1.8 5.0 5.3 4.4 1.8 1.4 2.5

Q1 2018

-0.1 1.7 -1.6 1.8 4.8 -1.6 1.9 3.1 0.0

Q2 2018

1.3 0.9 1.9 2.6 2.9 2.0 1.3 2.0 0.1

Q3 2018

0.3 2.6 -2.4 4.0 6.3 1.4 3.7 3.6 3.9

Q4 2018

0.9 1.8 1.4 1.6 5.0 -2.0 0.6 3.1 -3.3

Q1 2019

1.3 0.3 2.5 -1.7 -2.7 -0.7 -3.1 -3.0 -3.2

Q2 2019

-2.3 -0.7 -4.4 -3.1 -2.3 -4.0 -0.9 -1.6 0.5

Q3 2019

-0.5 0.4 -1.8 0.9 1.5 0.2 1.4 1.1 2.0

Q4 2019

-0.7 -1.1 -0.8 -0.2 -1.5 1.2 0.5 -0.4 2.1

Q1 2020

1.6 -2.5 5.8 -5.6 -9.7 -1.0 -7.0 -7.4 -6.4

Q2 2020

-15.5 -28.4 -4.9 -47.0 -58.1 -33.2 -37.3 -41.5 -29.8

In the second quarter of 2020, productivity decreased 28.4 percent in durable goods manufacturing, reflecting a 58.1-percent decrease in output and a 41.5-percent decrease in hours worked. Productivity decreased 4.9 percent in nondurable goods manufacturing, as output decreased 33.2 percent and hours worked decreased 29.8 percent.

These data are from the Labor Productivity and Costs program and are seasonally adjusted. For more information, see “Labor Productivity and Costs — Second Quarter 2020, Preliminary.” 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. More labor productivity charts can be found at Graphics for Economic News Releases: Productivity and Costs.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Manufacturing labor productivity decreased 15.5 percent in the second quarter of 2020 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/manufacturing-labor-productivity-decreased-15-point-5-percent-in-the-second-quarter-of-2020.htm (visited October 27, 2020).

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