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Productivity
Bureau of Labor Statistics > Productivity > Publications > Articles and Research

Concepts and Measurement Articles

Articles detailing the BLS methodology for the estimation of productivity and related measures and the history of the BLS productivity program. For different topics see Articles and Research. Additionally, the BLS Handbook of Methods presents detailed explanations of how the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) obtains and prepares the economic data it publishes. 

The BLS Productivity program replaced the term multifactor productivity (MFP) with total factor productivity (TFP) beginning with the 2020 data release. This was a change in terminology only and does not affect the data or methodology. The use of the term total factor productivity will improve the visibility and accessibility of our data and was accompanied by changes to the BLS website and future productivity news releases.

Labor productivity concepts and measurement

Total factor productivity concepts and measurement

  • Intrasectoral Transactions: The Most Important Productivity Statistic You've Never Heard Of. September 2019. (PDF)
  • Overview of Capital Inputs for the BLS Multifactor Productivity Measures, 2017 (PDF)
  • Methodology Change for Estimating Output, 2017 (HTML)
  • Changes in the Composition of Labor for BLS Multifactor Productivity Measures, 2016 (PDF)
  • Overview of Output Measures Used by BLS to Construct Productivity Statistics for Major Sectors of the U.S. Economy, 2014 (PDF)
  • Technical Note on Public R&D and Productivity Growth, 2012 (PDF)
  • Technical Information About the BLS Multifactor Productivity Measures for Major Sectors and 18 NAICS 3-digit Manufacturing Industries, 2007 (PDF)
  • Changes in the Composition of Labor for BLS Multifactor Productivity Measures, 2002 (PDF)
  • Productivity measurement with changing-weight indexes of outputs and inputs, 1996 (PDF)
  • Labor Composition and U.S. Productivity Growth, 1948-90 (PDF)
  • The impact of research and development on productivity growth, 1989 (PDF)
  • Data Sources and Methods for Measuring Multifactor Productivity in the Utility Services Industries. (PDF)
  • Trends in Multifactor Productivity, 1948-81. September 1983 (PDF)

Hours worked estimation

  • Industry Hours and Employment methodology - detailed industries. May 2014.
  • Bringing Work Home: Implications for BLS Productivity Measures. December 2010. (PDF)
  • Construction of Employment and Hours for Self-Employed and Other Nonfarm Workers and for All Farm Workers, Using Current Population Survey Data for Primary and Secondary Jobs. March 2006. (PDF)
  • Construction of Average Weekly Hours for Supervisory and Nonproduction Wage and Salary Workers in Detailed Industries. August 2005. (PDF)
  • Construction of Average Weekly Hours for Supervisory and Nonproduction Wage and Salary Workers in Private Nonfarm Establishments. October 2004. (PDF)
  • Alternative Measures of Supervisory Employee Hours and Productivity Growth. April 2004. (PDF)
  • Labor Productivity Hours Data Information, 2004.
  • A Note on the Incorporation of Hours-Worked Hours Paid-Ratios from the Employment Cost Index into Hours at Work Measures. August 2003. (PDF)
  • Hours at Work: A New Base for BLS Productivity Statistics. February 1990. (PDF)

Productivity program history and development

  • The BLS Productivity Measurement Program. February 1998. Presented at the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth conference on New Directions in Productivity Analysis, March 20-21, 1998. (PDF)