Posted September 2, 2021

Labor productivity rose 2.1 percent in Q2

Labor productivity increased 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, as output increased 8.1 percent and hours worked
increased 6.0 percent. 

From the second quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of 2021, nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 1.8 percent.

Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the second quarter of 2021, reflecting a 3.4-percent increase in hourly compensation and a 2.1-percent increase in productivity. Unit labor costs increased 0.2 percent over the last four quarters, as hourly compensation increased 2.0 percent and productivity increased 1.8 percent.

Manufacturing sector labor productivity increased 8.0 percent in the second quarter of 2021, as output increased 5.5 percent and hours worked decreased 2.3 percent.

In the durable manufacturing sector, productivity increased 4.6 percent as a 0.9-percent decrease in output was outpaced by a 5.2-percent decrease in hours worked. In contrast, nondurable manufacturing sector productivity increased 10.0 percent as output (12.9 percent) grew faster than hours worked (2.7 percent); the output gain was driven primarily by the chemical products manufacturing industry.

The second quarter increase in nondurable manufacturing sector productivity was the largest since the first quarter of 2003, when productivity also increased 10.0 percent. Total manufacturing sector productivity increased 7.2 percent from the same quarter a year ago

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