Posted September 5, 2019

Productivity rises 2.3 percent in Q2

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 2.3 percent in the second quarter of 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, as output increased 1.9 percent and hours worked decreased 0.4 percent.

Manufacturing sector labor productivity decreased 2.2 percent in the quarter, as output decreased 3.0 percent and hours worked declined 0.8 percent. This is the second consecutive quarter with declines in both output and hours in the manufacturing sector; in the first quarter of 2019 output declined 1.8 percent and hours declined 2.9 percent. This is the first occurrence of two consecutive quarters of declines in both output and hours in manufacturing since the second quarter of 2009.

Productivity declined 0.6 percent in the durable manufacturing sector, and decreased 4.4 percent in the nondurable manufacturing sector. Over the last four quarters, total manufacturing sector productivity was unchanged.