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Total factor productivity down in 16 of 21 industries in 2020

November 30, 2021

Total factor productivity declined in 16 out of 21 major industries in 2020. These declines were largely due to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The largest industry decline was in arts, entertainment, and recreation (−17.9 percent), the largest annual decline since data were first collected in 1988. This was followed by declines in educational services (−10.9 percent), accommodation and food services (−8.6 percent), and transportation and warehousing (−8.1 percent).

Annual percent changes in total factor productivity, by industry 
Industry 1987–2020 2019–20

Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting

1.2% 7.4%

Mining

1.4 -4.0

Utilities

0.5 1.8

Construction

-0.7 0.3

Manufacturing

0.7 -3.3

Durable manufacturing

1.3 -3.2

Nondurable manufacturing

-0.1 -2.9

Wholesale trade

1.1 0.7

Retail trade

1.0 -1.0

Transportation and warehousing

0.4 -8.1

Information

0.8 -0.1

Finance and insurance

0.0 -0.5

Real estate and rental and leasing

-0.2 -1.9

Professional and technical services

0.4 0.3

Management of companies

0.0 -3.3

Admin and waste services

0.3 -0.2

Educational services

-0.5 -10.9

Health care and social assistance

-0.6 -4.8

Arts, entertainment, and recreation

-0.3 -17.9

Accommodation and food services

0.0 -8.6

Other services, except government

-0.3 -3.0

Among the 21 major industries in 2020, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting had the largest increase in total factor productivity, at 7.4 percent. This was followed by utilities, at 1.8 percent.

In 2020, output for arts, entertainment, and recreation fell 37.7 percent, while combined inputs dropped 24.1 percent. The last time these two measures declined during the same year was in 2009.

Percent change from previous year in total factor productivity and related measures for arts, entertainment, and recreation, 1988–2020
Year Total factor productivity Output Combined inputs

1988

-0.6% 8.3% 9.0%

1989

1.3 4.3 2.9

1990

5.2 6.9 1.6

1991

-2.6 1.2 3.9

1992

7.0 9.2 2.1

1993

-6.3 7.6 14.9

1994

-2.2 5.3 7.7

1995

0.8 9.6 8.7

1996

-0.7 5.4 6.1

1997

1.5 3.6 2.1

1998

-1.1 2.2 3.4

1999

-0.4 2.2 2.6

2000

2.9 1.4 -1.4

2001

-4.3 2.5 7.1

2002

0.7 1.5 0.8

2003

-0.6 5.1 5.7

2004

0.8 3.6 2.7

2005

-1.5 1.8 3.3

2006

1.2 6.7 5.4

2007

1.1 6.2 5.0

2008

-0.9 -2.2 -1.3

2009

0.5 -2.8 -3.2

2010

4.3 0.2 -3.9

2011

0.5 0.0 -0.4

2012

2.1 2.0 -0.1

2013

-0.6 2.1 2.8

2014

1.5 3.6 2.0

2015

-3.1 2.0 5.2

2016

0.4 1.7 1.3

2017

0.8 4.2 3.4

2018

0.7 4.0 3.3

2019

1.6 1.4 -0.1

2020

-17.9 -37.7 -24.1

These data are from the Multifactor Productivity program. To learn more, see “Total Factor Productivity for Major Industries — 2020.” Total factor productivity is defined as output per unit of combined inputs.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Total factor productivity down in 16 of 21 industries in 2020 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/total-factor-productivity-down-in-16-of-21-industries-in-2020.htm (visited January 21, 2022).

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