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

Previous Research

Previous and completed research efforts is no longer being updated by the Productivity program. The productivity program also has many current research efforts.

State Labor Productivity

This research is now complete and we publish an annual news release on state labor productivity and a companion detailed analysis. On May 27, 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) updated state-level labor productivity and costs measures for the private nonfarm sector through 2020, including output per hour, output, hours, unit labor costs, hourly compensation, and real hourly compensation. By analyzing state-level labor productivity measures, data users can learn more about regional business cycles, the persistence of regional income inequality, and which states are driving national productivity trends.

In June 2019 BLS published an article, "BLS Publishes Experimental State-level Labor Productivity Measures", that describes the data and methodology used to estimate these new labor productivity data. In addition, the article examines the compensation-productivity gap, the relationship between productivity growth and the share of output in the information and communications technology producing sector, and whether state-level labor productivity is converging following the Great Recession. (2020 Secretary’s Exceptional Achievement Award).

Government Labor Productivity

Federal Government Labor Productivity

The Federal Productivity Measurement Program produced labor productivity indexes and related statistics covering about two-thirds of the entire federal government.  Indexes of output per employee year, output, employee years, compensation per employee year, and unit labor costs are available for fiscal years 1967 to 1994 for selected functional areas of government. The program was terminated in 1996.  However, BLS continues to measure productivity for the postal service.  For more information see: "The Federal Productivity Measurement Program: final results," by Donald Fisk and Darlene Forte, Monthly Labor Review, May 1997, pp. 19-28. 

Historical Data (1967 to 1994)

The data table for federal government, fiscal years 1967-94 contains data on output per employee year, output, employee years, compensation per employee year, and unit labor costs, from 1967 to 1994 for the total measured portion of the federal government and for selected functions.

State and Local Government Labor Productivity

The program to measure state and local government productivity conducted research on and developed labor productivity measures for state and local government services. Indexes of output per employee year, output, and employee years are available for selected periods between 1967 and 1992 for various state and local government services. This program was terminated in 1994.