Productivity and Costs by Industry: Manufacturing and Mining Industries - 2020
Last Modified Date: April 29, 2021
For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Thursday, April 29, 2021 USDL-21-0725
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PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS BY INDUSTRY
MANUFACTURING AND MINING INDUSTRIES 2020
Labor productivity rose in 41 of the 86 NAICS four-digit manufacturing industries in 2020,
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The footwear industry had the largest
productivity gain with an increase of 14.5 percent. Three out of the four industries in the
mining sector posted productivity declines in 2020, with the greatest decline occurring in
the metal ore mining industry with a decrease of 6.7 percent.
Although more mining and manufacturing industries recorded productivity gains in 2020 than
2019, declines in both output and hours worked were widespread. Output fell in over 90
percent of detailed industries in 2020 and 87 percent had declines in hours worked.
Seventy-two industries had declines in both output and hours worked in 2020. This was the
greatest number of such industries since 2009. Within this set of industries, 35 had increasing
Labor Productivity Trends in NAICS 3-Digit Industries, 2020
Labor productivity increased in 9 of the 21 NAICS 3-digit manufacturing industries in 2020
as hours worked fell in all 21 industries and output declined in 19.
Both output and hours worked fell by over 5.0 percent in 13 industries.
The apparel industry had the largest productivity gain, 10.1 percent.
The furniture and related products industry had the largest productivity decline, 7.4 percent.
Labor productivity rose by 3.4 percent in the oil and gas extraction industry as hours worked
declined more than output.
The mining, except oil and gas industry had a productivity decline of 5.0 percent. Output fell
12.6 percent in 2020 while hours worked declined 8.0 percent.
Trends in Unit Labor Costs in 2020
Unit labor costs increase when hourly compensation growth exceeds productivity growth.
In manufacturing, unit labor costs increased in 18 of the 21 NAICS 3-digit industries. The
three industries with declines in unit labor costs were all nondurable manufacturers with the
largest decline occurring in apparel.
Twenty-six NAICS 4-digit manufacturing industries had declines in unit labor costs. Of these,
nearly three quarters also recorded growth in productivity.
Unit labor costs declined in the oil and gas extraction industry by 1.7 percent but increased
in the mining, except oil and gas industry by 2.6 percent.
Unit labor costs rose in 3 of the 4 NAICS 4-digit mining industries measured. All three of
these industries recorded declines in hourly compensation along with even greater declines in
Long-Term Trends in Labor Productivity and Unit Labor Costs
Over the entire 1987-2020 period, labor productivity rose in 83 of the 91 manufacturing and
mining industries. Output rose in 50 industries while hours worked increased in only 14. In
the 14 industries where hours worked increased, they rose at a slow pace, 0.7 percent per year
During the more recent 2007-2020 period, productivity increased in just 38 industries. These
increases are predominantly the result of a decline in hours worked rather than an increase in
output, as hours worked fell in 79 NAICS 4-digit manufacturing and mining industries while
output increased in only 11. Oil and gas extraction had the greatest average annual growth in
output over this period, 6.0 percent.
Unit Labor Costs
During the 1987-2020 period, unit labor costs increased in 78 of the 86 NAICS 4-digit
manufacturing industries. All five mining industries saw an increase in unit labor costs.
From 2007 to 2020, unit labor costs increased in 82 of the 86 manufacturing industries and in
3 of the 5 mining industries. Unit labor costs increased the most in the pharmaceutical and
The computer and peripheral equipment industry recorded the largest productivity gain as well as the
largest unit labor cost decline during both the 1987-2020 and 1987-2007 periods. However, between 2007
and 2020, the oil and gas extraction industry posted the greatest productivity growth and the largest
unit labor cost decline.
Manufacturing industry output measures for 2019 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 2017 Economic
Census Summary Series and the 2019 Annual Survey of Manufactures. Manufacturing industry output for 2020
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 Surveys 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 Surveys publications are released annually.
The COVID-19 pandemic did not impact the availability of source data used to construct productivity
measures in this release. Data source providers continued to collect and publish high quality industry
data for 2020. Additional information can be found on the BLS website at
Access the productivity data dashboard at www.bls.gov/lpc/lpc_by_industry_dashboard.xlsx for
Additional industries and sectors
Detailed data series: indexes of productivity and related measures; rates of change; and levels of industry
employment, hours worked, nominal value of production, and labor compensation
Additional years and long-term data
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