Nonfarm business labor productivity up 9.5 percent in third quarter 2009

November 06, 2009

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased at a 9.5-percent annual rate during the third quarter of 2009, the largest gain in productivity since the third quarter of 2003, when it rose 9.7 percent.

Change in nonfarm business productivity, seasonally adjusted, first quarter 1999–third quarter 2009 (percent change from previous quarter at annual rate)
[Chart data]

From the third quarter of 2008 to the third quarter of 2009, nonfarm business output fell 3.5 percent and hours worked fell faster, 7.5 percent, resulting in a productivity increase of 4.3 percent.

The four-quarter decline in hours was the largest in the series, which begins in 1948. Nonfarm business productivity rose 1.8 percent in 2008 and 2.6 percent per year on average during the 2001–2007 period corresponding to the last complete business cycle.

These data are from the Productivity and Costs program. The data are subject to revision. More data on productivity, output, hours and related measures can be found in "Productivity and Costs: Third Quarter 2009, Preliminary" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-09-1330.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Nonfarm business labor productivity up 9.5 percent in third quarter 2009 on the Internet at (visited September 22, 2014).


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