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Labor productivity rose in 20 of 28 selected service-providing industries in 2017

June 01, 2018

Labor productivity rose in 20 of 28 selected service-providing industries in 2017, while output increased in 19 industries and hours increased in 16 industries. 

Labor productivity in selected service-providing industries, percent change from 2016 to 2017
Industry Labor productivity Output Hours worked Unit labor costs

Amusement parks and arcades

13.70% 8.30% -4.70% -10.7%

Wireless telecommunications carriers

11.1 8.4 -2.5 -7.1

Gambling industries

7.9 6.7 -1.1 -7.4

Newspaper publishers

7.6 -4.0 -10.8 -1.4

Warehousing and storage

6.8 10.0 3.0 -0.3

Radio and television broadcasting

5.8 3.8 -1.9 -1.2

Cable and other subscription programming

5.5 1.4 -3.9 0.3

Software publishers

5.3 9.4 3.9 2.0

Postal service

4.7 -2.1 -6.5 -3.1

Drycleaning and laundry services

3.8 3.1 -0.7 2.0

Air transportation

3.5 3.9 0.3 3.2

General freight trucking, local

3.5 3.8 0.3 -0.7

Specialized freight trucking

3.1 4.1 1.0 0.0

Wired telecommunications carriers

2.8 1.1 -1.7 -3.0

Travel arrangement and reservation services

2.0 3.4 1.3 5.1

Periodical publishers

1.0 -4.8 -5.7 3.2

Accounting and bookkeeping services

0.8 1.5 0.7 0.8

Medical and diagnostic laboratories

0.8 3.4 2.6 2.6

Natural gas distribution

0.4 -0.3 -0.7 3.5

Automotive repair and maintenance

0.2 0.4 0.2 3.1

Water, sewage and other systems

-0.8 3.5 4.4 2.8

Line-haul railroads

-0.9 -0.1 0.8 0.9

General freight trucking, long-distance

-1.2 -1.2 0.1 3.6

Power generation and supply

-1.5 -2.1 -0.6 6.3

Truck, trailer, and RV rental and leasing

-2.5 4.1 6.8 1.5

Couriers and messengers

-3.5 1.8 5.5 4.4

Engineering services

-3.7 -0.6 3.2 5.4

Commercial banking

-5.5 -3.7 1.9 9.6

Productivity increased by at least 7.0 percent in 3 industries in which output increases coincided with declines in hours worked: amusement parks and arcades (13.7 percent), wireless telecommunications carriers (11.1 percent), and gambling industries (7.9 percent).

Unit labor costs declined in 9 industries in 2017. Each of the industries with declines in unit labor costs also recorded increases in productivity. Increases in labor productivity counter the impact of rising hourly compensation on unit labor costs facing employers.

These data are from the Labor Productivity and Costs program. Data are preliminary and may be revised. To learn more, see “Productivity and Costs by Industry: Selected Service-Providing Industries — 2017” (HTML) (PDF).

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor productivity rose in 20 of 28 selected service-providing industries in 2017 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/labor-productivity-rose-in-20-of-28-selected-service-providing-industries-in-2017.htm (visited November 11, 2019).

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