Posted November 4, 2021

Q3 productivity decreased 5.0 percent

Productivity decreased 5.0 percent in the third quarter of 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, 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.

Manufacturing sector labor productivity decreased 1.0 percent in the third quarter of 2021, as output increased 5.7 percent and hours worked increased 6.7 percent. In the durable manufacturing sector, productivity increased 1.4 percent, with a 9.9-percent increase in output and an 8.4-percent increase in hours worked. Nondurable manufacturing sector productivity decreased 2.6 percent, as output (+1.3 percent) grew slower than hours worked (+4.0 percent). Total manufacturing sector productivity increased 2.4 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

Manufacturing sector output is now 1.1 percent above its level in the fourth quarter of 2019, the last quarter not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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