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Nonfarm business labor productivity up 2.1 percent in second quarter 2021

September 07, 2021

Nonfarm business labor productivity increased 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2021, as output increased 8.1 percent and hours worked increased 6.0 percent.

 Nonfarm business productivity, output, and hours worked, percent change from previous quarter at annual rate, second quarter 2011–second quarter 2021
Quarter Labor productivity
(output per hour)
    Output     Hours worked

Q2 2011

0.5% 4.2% 3.7%

Q3 2011

-1.3 0.2 1.5

Q4 2011

2.8 5.9 3.0

Q1 2012

1.8 5.1 3.2

Q2 2012

1.7 2.6 0.9

Q3 2012

-0.4 1.2 1.6

Q4 2012

-1.3 0.8 2.1

Q1 2013

2.2 3.8 1.6

Q2 2013

-1.3 0.2 1.6

Q3 2013

1.9 4.2 2.3

Q4 2013

2.8 4.2 1.3

Q1 2014

-4.0 -2.1 1.9

Q2 2014

3.9 6.8 2.8

Q3 2014

3.6 6.4 2.7

Q4 2014

-2.2 2.3 4.6

Q1 2015

3.5 4.0 0.5

Q2 2015

1.1 3.0 1.8

Q3 2015

-0.1 1.3 1.4

Q4 2015

-1.6 0.4 2.0

Q1 2016

1.4 2.7 1.3

Q2 2016

-0.3 1.2 1.5

Q3 2016

1.6 2.8 1.2

Q4 2016

2.3 2.8 0.4

Q1 2017

0.4 1.9 1.6

Q2 2017

-0.3 2.8 3.1

Q3 2017

3.2 3.8 0.6

Q4 2017

1.7 4.7 2.9

Q1 2018

1.2 3.6 2.4

Q2 2018

1.6 3.9 2.2

Q3 2018

1.1 2.2 1.1

Q4 2018

0.1 1.1 1.0

Q1 2019

3.4 3.4 0.0

Q2 2019

4.3 3.6 -0.7

Q3 2019

0.8 3.2 2.4

Q4 2019

0.6 1.8 1.2

Q1 2020

-1.8 -7.4 -5.7

Q2 2020

11.2 -36.9 -43.2

Q3 2020

4.6 44.6 38.2

Q4 2020

-3.4 6.2 9.9

Q1 2021

4.3 8.4 4.0

Q2 2021

2.1 8.1 6.0

The second quarter of 2021 is the fourth consecutive quarter with increases in both output and hours worked, following historic declines in those measures in the second quarter of 2020.

These measures are based on more recent source data than were available for the preliminary report released earlier. The 2.1 percent productivity increase in nonfarm business sector in the second quarter of 2021 is a 0.2-percentage point downward revision from the preliminary estimate of 2.3 percent. This reflects a 0.2-percentage point upward revision to output and a 0.5-percentage point upward revision to hours worked.

These data are from the Labor Productivity and Costs program and are seasonally adjusted annual rates, subject to revision. To learn more, see "Productivity and Costs — Second Quarter 2021, 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 for 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 2.1 percent in second quarter 2021 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/nonfarm-business-labor-productivity-up-2-1-percent-in-second-quarter-2021.htm (visited November 27, 2021).

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