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Productivity in mining industries for National Miners Day

December 06, 2021

December 6 is National Miners Day, celebrating the workers who extract minerals from subterranean America that underlie countless products of the surface world. Labor productivity—output per hour of work—nearly doubled in the mining sector from 2007 to 2020. All the gains came after 2012.

Labor productivity indexes in selected mining industries, 2007–20
Year Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction Oil and gas extraction Coal mining Metal ore mining Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying

2007

100.000 100.000 100.000 100.000 100.000

2008

97.789 93.678 94.293 94.081 101.452

2009

111.220 97.919 88.018 100.560 96.816

2010

107.965 103.708 86.976 103.330 98.101

2011

95.952 90.535 82.813 87.551 100.375

2012

96.405 85.494 82.449 80.990 105.099

2013

104.914 97.300 88.650 87.787 109.641

2014

110.415 109.368 90.132 89.044 114.315

2015

129.817 119.990 93.029 89.402 112.746

2016

153.983 133.564 102.086 99.491 107.471

2017

159.299 182.374 103.718 100.774 112.923

2018

164.186 208.739 100.565 92.839 115.303

2019

174.085 213.536 97.512 86.843 112.367

2020

198.357 220.727 93.853 81.019 107.566

Labor productivity growth in the oil and gas extraction industry took off after 2012, increasing every year. This industry’s productivity boom lifted the whole mining sector. The rise in productivity came from increasing output most years (but not in 2016 or 2020) and from declining hours worked, particularly from 2014 to 2017. The period of rapid productivity growth overlaps with the expanded use of innovative technologies to extract petroleum and natural gas from areas that were previously difficult to access.

These data are from the Labor Productivity and Costs program. Data are preliminary and may be revised. To learn more, see "Productivity and Costs by Industry: Manufacturing and Mining Industries — 2020." To learn more about labor productivity, see Productivity 101. We also have more charts on industry productivity.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Productivity in mining industries for National Miners Day at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/productivity-in-mining-industries-for-national-miners-day.htm (visited September 29, 2022).

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