Productivity and Costs by Industry: Mining, Wholesale Trade, Retail Trade, and Food Services and Drinking Places Industries, 2013

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, August 7, 2014	                             USDL-14-1430

Technical Information: 	(202) 691-5618  •  • 
Media Contact:		(202) 691-5902  •


Labor productivity - defined as output per hour - rose 8.5 percent in mining, 2.3 percent in wholesale 
trade and 5.0 percent in retail trade, but fell 2.4 percent in food services and drinking places in 2013, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Unit labor costs, which reflect the total labor costs 
required to produce a unit of output, fell in mining, in wholesale trade and in retail trade, but rose in 
food services and drinking places in 2013. 

Productivity in mining and in retail trade rose faster in 2013 than in 2012. Output increased at the same 
rate as in the previous year for mining and more rapidly for retail trade, while hours in both sectors fell 
slightly after increasing in the previous year. In wholesale trade, output and hours grew more rapidly in 
2013 than in 2012, but the increase in hours outpaced the increase in output and productivity rose more 
slowly in 2013. The larger productivity decline in food services and drinking places in 2013 resulted 
from a slowdown in output that exceeded that of hours. 

The latest productivity measures for industries presented here and for those in other sectors are available 
on the BLS Labor Productivity and Costs website at

*                                   Industry Productivity Hours Series Changes                             *
*                                                                                                          *
* Beginning with this news release, labor hours for trade and food services and drinking places industries * 
* represent hours worked. See Technical Note in this news release for more information.                    *

Productivity increased in 39 of the 54 detailed 4-digit NAICS industries studied in 2013. Output grew in 
43 industries and hours increased in 34. Unit labor costs fell in 39 industries in 2013.

In mining, labor productivity increased 8.5 percent, while output grew 8.4 percent and hours fell 
slightly. Productivity increased in all four of the detailed mining industries for which data are available. 
Output rose in three industries and hours declined in four. The largest productivity increase was in the 
oil and gas extraction industry. Unit labor costs fell in three mining industries. 

In wholesale trade, labor productivity rose 2.3 percent as output grew 4.2 percent and hours increased 
1.9 percent. Productivity grew 2.8 percent in durable goods wholesalers and 1.9 percent in nondurable 
goods wholesalers. Productivity increased in 12 of the 19 detailed wholesale trade industries, while 
output rose in 16 industries and hours grew in 14. Productivity increased most rapidly in farm product 
raw materials wholesalers, electric goods wholesalers, and machinery and supplies wholesalers, as 
output rose substantially in each. Unit labor costs declined in 16 wholesale trade industries.

In retail trade, labor productivity grew 5.0 percent, while output rose 4.6 percent and hours fell 0.4 
percent. Productivity increased in 22 of the 27 detailed retail trade industries in 2013, as output grew in 
23 industries and hours rose in 17. The largest productivity increases were in used merchandise stores; 
jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores; clothing stores; and florists. In each of these industries output 
rose and hours fell. Unit labor costs fell in 19 retail trade industries.

In food services and drinking places, labor productivity declined 2.4 percent, as output grew 0.6 
percent and hours rose 3.0 percent. Productivity and output fell in three of the four detailed industries in 
this sector, while hours grew in three. Limited-service eating places was the only industry in this sector 
to record an increase in productivity, output, and hours. Unit labor costs rose in three of these industries.

Over the longer term (1987 to 2013), productivity performance in the wholesale trade and food services 
and drinking places sectors was more favorable than in 2013. From 1987 to 2013, productivity increased 
at an average annual rate of 3.1 percent in wholesale trade and 0.4 percent in food services and drinking 
places.	 In the mining and retail trade sectors, however, productivity growth in the current year outpaced 
the long-term rates of -0.2 percent and 2.9 percent per year, respectively. Unit labor costs rose in mining, 
in wholesale trade and in food services and drinking places, but fell in retail trade from 1987 to 2013. 

Productivity increased in more mining, trade, and food services and drinking places industries over the 
longer term than in 2013, with productivity rising in 51 of the 54 detailed industries from 1987 to 2013. 
Unit labor costs fell in 17 of the detailed industries over the period.

Revisions: The mining industries in this release incorporate data from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Mineral 
Commodity Summaries 2014 (February 2014) and the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 
Monthly Energy Review (May 2014). These data were used to develop output estimates which allowed 
BLS to update the mining industries to 2013 earlier than usual. The trade and food services and drinking 
places measures in this release incorporate preliminary data from the Census Bureau’s Annual 
Wholesale Trade Report (March 2014), Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey (May 2014), Annual Retail 
Trade Survey (April 2014), and the Annual Revision of the Monthly Retail and Food Services: Sales and 
Inventories (May 2014), as well as data from the Census Bureau’s Nonemployer Statistics (April 2014). 
The labor productivity and output series for all industries have been revised for 2012 and earlier years as 
a result. This news release also incorporates the annual benchmark revision of the BLS Current 
Employment Statistics (CES) survey published in February 2014. For the first time, labor hours in this 
news release represent hours at work. Data on hours paid from the CES were adjusted using industry 
hours-worked to hours-paid ratios derived from National Compensation Survey (NCS) data. In addition, 
the unit labor cost measures incorporate preliminary data from the BLS Quarterly Census of 
Employment and Wages (June 2014). All of the measures for 2013 in this release are preliminary and 
subject to revision. 

Other: While the rates of change reported by BLS in this news release are rounded to one decimal place, 
all industry productivity percent changes are calculated using index numbers rounded to three decimal 
places. Year-to-year movements in industry productivity may be erratic, particularly in smaller 
industries. The annual measures based on sample data may differ from measures generated by a census 
of establishments in the industry. Annual changes in an industry’s output and use of labor may reflect 
cyclical changes in the economy as well as long-term trends. As a result, long-term productivity trends 
tend to be more reliable indicators of industry performance than year-to-year changes. The industries 
included in this release are classified according to the 2007 NAICS. 

More detailed data for industries covered in this release and for additional industries are available on the 
BLS Labor Productivity and Costs website at Data include productivity 
and related indexes; rates of change; and levels of industry employment, hours, nominal value of 
production, and labor compensation. Additional information can be obtained by calling the Division of 
Industry Productivity Studies (202-691-5618) or by sending a request by e-mail to 
Information in this report will be made available to sensory-impaired individuals upon request. Voice 
phone: 202-691-5618; TDD message referral phone number: 1-800-877-8339.

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Last Modified Date: August 07, 2014