Productivity in the first quarter of 2011

May 11, 2011

During the first quarter of 2011, nonfarm business sector labor productivity—as measured by output per hour— increased at a 1.6-percent annual rate. The gain in productivity reflects increases of 3.1 percent in output and 1.4 percent in hours worked. Manufacturing sector productivity grew 6.3 percent, as output and hours worked increased 9.7 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.

Change in nonfarm business and manufacturing productivity, seasonally adjusted, first quarter 2006–first quarter 2011 (percent change from previous quarter at annual rate)
[Chart data]

From the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011, output increased 3.2 percent while hours rose 1.9 percent, yielding an increase in productivity of 1.3 percent.

Over the last four quarters, manufacturing productivity increased 4.7 percent. In the first quarter of 2011, productivity increased 9.8 percent in the durable goods sector and 4.5 percent in the nondurable goods sector. In durable goods industries, a 16.4 percent jump in output outweighed a 6.1-percent increase in hours worked; this gain in output is the largest in the series. Nondurable goods production rose 3.3 percent while hours fell 1.2 percent.

These data are from the Productivity and Costs program and are subject to revision. For more information, see "Productivity and Costs: First Quarter 2011, Preliminary" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-11-0621.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Productivity in the first quarter of 2011 on the Internet at (visited September 25, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.