Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 5.0 percent in the third quarter of 2021

November 15, 2021

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 5.0 percent in the third quarter of 2021, as output increased 1.7 percent and hours worked increased 7.0 percent. This is the lowest rate of quarterly productivity growth since the second quarter of 1981, when the measure decreased 5.1 percent.

Productivity and costs by sector, percent change from previous quarter at annual rate, 3rd quarter 2021
Measure Business Nonfarm Business Manufacturing

Labor productivity

-4.8% -5.0% -1.0%

Output

1.4 1.7 5.7

Hours Worked

6.5 7.0 6.7

Hourly compensation

3.3 2.9 1.9

Unit labor costs

8.5 8.3 2.9

Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased at an annual rate of 8.3 percent in the third quarter of 2021, reflecting a 2.9 percent increase in hourly compensation and a 5.0 percent decrease in productivity.

The third quarter of 2021 is the fifth consecutive quarter with increases in both output and hours worked, following historic declines in those measures in the second quarter of 2020 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These data are from the Labor Productivity and Costs program and are seasonally adjusted annual rates, subject to revision. To learn more, see "Productivity and Costs — Third Quarter 2021" Also see Charts related to the latest "Productivity and Costs" news release. Labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of hours worked for all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 5.0 percent in the third quarter of 2021 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/nonfarm-business-sector-labor-productivity-decreased-5-0-percent-in-the-third-quarter-of-2021.htm (visited September 25, 2022).

OF INTEREST
spotlight

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics



triangle