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Labor productivity down 1.2 percent in wholesale trade and 0.4 percent in retail trade in 2022

June 13, 2023

In 2022, labor productivity fell 1.2 percent in wholesale trade, the largest decrease since 2009. Hours worked increased 2.9 percent and output increased 1.6 percent in wholesale trade. In retail trade, productivity fell 0.4 percent in 2022, as output fell 1.3 percent and hours worked decreased 1.0 percent. The declines in productivity were the first since 2011 for wholesale trade and 2008 for retail trade.

Annual percent change in labor productivity, hours worked, and output in wholesale trade and retail trade, 1988–2022
Year Wholesale trade labor productivity Wholesale trade hours worked Wholesale trade output Retail trade labor productivity Retail trade hours worked Retail trade output

1988

3.2 3.3 6.6 2.1 2.3 4.5

1989

1.1 2.7 3.9 0.8 1.8 2.7

1990

4.8 -1.7 3.0 0.2 0.7 0.9

1991

0.9 -1.2 -0.3 0.4 -2.3 -1.9

1992

7.8 -1.5 6.3 4.6 -0.4 4.1

1993

3.6 -0.2 3.4 3.4 2.2 5.7

1994

2.0 3.3 5.4 4.4 2.9 7.4

1995

2.7 3.2 5.9 1.8 1.9 3.8

1996

3.5 1.0 4.5 4.1 1.1 5.3

1997

3.8 1.6 5.5 2.6 1.8 4.4

1998

3.7 1.6 5.4 5.6 0.6 6.3

1999

7.7 1.0 8.8 6.7 1.8 8.7

2000

5.4 0.7 6.2 3.2 1.2 4.4

2001

1.5 -4.0 -2.6 3.7 -1.0 2.7

2002

4.7 -3.0 1.6 4.5 -0.9 3.5

2003

5.0 -1.1 3.8 4.9 -0.3 4.6

2004

7.0 -0.2 6.7 5.2 0.0 5.3

2005

2.2 2.0 4.2 2.3 1.1 3.5

2006

1.7 2.7 4.5 3.8 -0.6 3.2

2007

0.8 1.8 2.7 2.2 0.0 2.2

2008

-4.4 -0.5 -4.9 -1.5 -3.1 -4.5

2009

-1.9 -7.7 -9.5 0.7 -5.9 -5.3

2010

5.8 -1.9 3.8 3.4 -0.3 3.1

2011

-1.1 3.0 1.9 0.9 2.0 2.9

2012

1.8 1.6 3.5 2.2 1.0 3.3

2013

2.3 1.2 3.5 3.5 0.2 3.8

2014

1.5 1.8 3.3 2.0 1.9 3.9

2015

3.9 -0.2 3.7 3.2 1.7 4.9

2016

1.1 0.4 1.6 4.6 -0.3 4.3

2017

1.2 -0.1 1.2 3.3 -0.1 3.1

2018

1.8 -0.1 1.7 3.5 -0.6 2.9

2019

0.2 0.6 0.7 5.6 -2.6 2.8

2020

3.7 -6.3 -2.9 9.0 -4.8 3.8

2021

1.3 3.3 4.6 6.1 3.3 9.6

2022

-1.2 2.9 1.6 -0.4 -1.0 -1.3

In wholesale trade, productivity increased 0.1 percent for durable goods and decreased 1.8 percent for nondurable goods in 2022. Productivity fell 3.3 percent in electronic markets and agents and brokers.

Percent change in labor productivity by industry, 2021–22
Industry Percent change

Wholesale trade

-1.2

Durable goods

0.1

Motor vehicles and parts

0.6

Furniture and furnishings

4.4

Lumber and construction supplies

17.2

Commercial equipment

-1.9

Metals and minerals

-1.1

Appliances and electric goods

-0.2

Hardware and plumbing

-0.8

Machinery and supplies

-0.8

Miscellaneous durable goods

-7.2

Nondurable goods

-1.8

Paper and paper products

-6.8

Druggists' goods

7.0

Apparel and piece goods

-6.6

Grocery and related products

-2.2

Farm product raw materials

1.4

Chemicals

9.5

Petroleum

-9.5

Alcoholic beverages

-3.8

Miscellaneous nondurable goods

-4.8

Electronic markets and agents and brokers

-3.3

Electronic markets and agents and brokers

-3.3

Retail trade

-0.4

Motor vehicle and parts dealers

-10.9

Automobile dealers

-12.0

Other motor vehicle dealers

-6.9

Auto parts, accessories, and tire stores

-4.5

Furniture and home furnishings stores

-10.9

Furniture stores

-12.1

Home furnishings stores

-9.3

Electronics and appliance stores

2.5

Electronics and appliance stores

2.5

Building material and garden supply stores

-1.4

Building material and supplies dealers

-1.4

Lawn and garden equipment and supplies stores

-1.4

Food and beverage stores

-1.8

Grocery stores

-1.1

Specialty food stores

-5.1

Beer, wine and liquor stores

-11.8

Health and personal care stores

0.3

Health and personal care stores

0.3

Gasoline stations

-1.5

Gasoline stations

-1.5

Clothing and clothing accessories stores

3.6

Clothing stores

2.2

Shoe stores

-6.3

Jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores

20.4

Sports, hobby, music instruments, book stores

-6.8

Sporting goods and musical instrument stores

-6.5

Book stores and news dealers

-7.1

General merchandise stores

5.3

Department stores

2.3

Other general merchandise stores

6.1

Miscellaneous store retailers

7.9

Florists

22.5

Office supplies, stationery and gift stores

-6.2

Used merchandise stores

-1.3

Other miscellaneous store retailers

17.2

Nonstore retailers

11.1

Electronic shopping and mail-order houses

9.9

Vending machine operators

-11.6

Direct selling establishments

16.2

In retail trade, productivity rose in 6 of the 12 industries studied. The largest productivity increases in 2022 occurred in nonstore retailers (11.1 percent) and miscellaneous store retailers (7.9 percent). The largest productivity decreases in 2022 were in motor vehicle and parts dealers, and furniture and home furnishings stores, both of which fell 10.9 percent.

These data are from the Productivity program. Data are preliminary and may be revised. To learn more, see "Productivity and Costs by Industry: Wholesale Trade and Retail Trade Industries — 2022."  We also have more charts on productivity in wholesale and retail trade industries.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor productivity down 1.2 percent in wholesale trade and 0.4 percent in retail trade in 2022 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2023/labor-productivity-down-1-2-percent-in-wholesale-trade-and-0-4-percent-in-retail-trade-in-2022.htm (visited June 16, 2024).

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