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Economic News Release

Productivity and Costs by Industry: Manufacturing and Mining Industries - 2021

For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Thursday, April 28, 2022                            USDL-22-0711

Technical information: (202) 691-5606  *   * 
Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  *


Labor productivity rose in 47 of the 86 four-digit NAICS manufacturing industries in 2021, 
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The railroad rolling stock industry had 
the largest productivity gain with an increase of 20.6 percent. Four out of the five 
industries in the mining sector posted productivity gains in 2021 with the greatest increase 
occurring in the coal mining industry with a gain of 18.3 percent.

Increases in both output and hours worked were widespread among manufacturing and mining 
industries in 2021. Output rose in approximately three-quarters of detailed industries in 
2021 and two-thirds had growth in hours worked. Forty-three industries increased both output 
and hours worked in 2021. Within this set of industries, almost half had rising labor 

Labor Productivity Trends in Three-Digit NAICS Industries, 2021

	* Labor productivity increased in 10 of the 21 three-digit NAICS manufacturing 
	  industries in 2021. Within this set of industries, all but one had growth in output.
	* Both output and hours worked increased in 17 industries, respectively. Eight 
	  industries had concurrent increases of over 3.0 percent in both output and hours worked.
	* The primary metal industry had the largest productivity gain, 9.5 percent.
	* Beverage and tobacco products had the largest productivity decline, -15.5 percent.
	* Labor productivity increased in all 3 of the three-digit NAICS mining industries in 2021.
	* The productivity gain of 8.8 percent in oil and gas extraction was mostly caused by a 
	  decline in hours worked of 8.1 percent.
	* The largest increase in output occurred in support activities for mining, 8.1 percent.
Trends in Unit Labor Costs in 2021

Unit labor costs reflect the total labor costs required to produce a unit of output. Unit labor 
costs increase when hourly compensation growth exceeds productivity growth.

	* In manufacturing, unit labor costs increased in 16 of the 21 three-digit NAICS 
	  industries. The five industries with declines in unit labor costs all had increases in 
	  output, with the largest output gain occurring in primary metals (9.3 percent). 
	* Twenty-eight four-digit NAICS manufacturing industries had declines in unit labor costs. 
	  Of these, twenty-five also recorded growth in productivity.

	* Unit labor costs recorded double-digit declines in 2 of the 3 three-digit NAICS mining 
	  industries: oil and gas extraction (18.7 percent) and support activities for mining 
	  (-17.2 percent). 
	* Unit labor costs fell in 3 of the 5 four-digit NAICS mining industries. All three of 
	  these industries also recorded gains in productivity.

Long-Term Trends in Labor Productivity and Unit Labor Costs 

Labor Productivity
	* Over the entire 1987-2021 period, labor productivity rose in 85 of the 91 manufacturing
	  and mining industries. Output rose in 51 industries while hours worked increased in only 
	  15. In the 15 industries where hours worked increased, they rose at a slow pace, 0.7 
	  percent per year on average.
	* During the more recent 2007-2021 period, productivity increased in 37 industries. Of these 
	  industries, only two (dairy products, and petroleum and coal products) had simultaneous 
	  growth in output as well as hours worked. Oil and gas extraction had the greatest average 
	  annual growth in output over this period, 5.5 percent. 

Unit Labor Costs
	* During the 1987-2021 period, unit labor costs increased in 80 of the 86 four-digit NAICS 
	  manufacturing industries and in all five mining industries.
	* From 2007 to 2021, unit labor costs increased in all 86 manufacturing industries, but in 
	  just 3 of the 5 mining industries. Unit labor costs rose the most in the audio and video 
	  equipment industry.
The computer and peripheral equipment industry recorded the largest productivity gain as well as 
the largest unit labor cost decline during the 1987-2021 period. However, between 2007 and 2021, 
the oil and gas extraction industry posted the greatest productivity growth and the largest unit 
labor cost decline.

Additional Information

Manufacturing industry output measures for 2020 and earlier years are constructed primarily 
using data from the economic censuses and annual surveys of the U.S. Census Bureau together with 
data on price changes primarily from BLS. These measures have been revised due to the release of 
the 2020 Annual Survey of Manufactures. Manufacturing industry output for 2021 is estimated based 
on historical relationships between BLS sectoral output, BLS price indexes, and data on 
industrial production from the Federal Reserve Board.

Mining industry output measures are constructed primarily using data from the U.S. Energy 
Information Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey's Mineral Commodity Summaries and 
Mineral Yearbooks. The data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration are usually revised 
on a monthly schedule while the U.S. Geological Survey's publications are released annually. 

Access productivity data at 
	* Additional industries and sectors
	* Detailed data series: indexes of productivity and related measures; rates of change; and 
	  levels of industry employment, hours worked, sectoral output, and labor compensation
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Last Modified Date: April 28, 2022