Wednesday, May 21, 2014



IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


This service is supported, in part, by donations. Please consider making a donation by following the instructions at




[full-text, 9 pages]


Labor productivity -- defined as output per hour -- rose in 48 percent of the 58 service-providing and

mining industries studied in 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was down

from 60 percent in 2011. Unit labor costs, which reflect the total labor costs required to produce a unit

of output, declined in 17 percent of the industries in 2012, compared to 31 percent in 2011.               


Output rose in more industries in 2012 than in any year since 2006, while hours rose in more industries

than in any year since 2005. (See table 1.) Output increased in 39 of the 58 service-providing and mining

industries studied, while hours rose in 34 industries. The percentage of industries where output increased

but hours rose more than output was the highest since the series began in 1987.


Labor compensation rose in 84 percent of the industries studied. Unit labor costs fell in 8 of 53 service-

providing industries in 2012, down from 17 industries in 2011, and in 2 of the 5 mining industries. The

industries with declines in unit labor costs all posted increases in productivity, which offset movements

in hourly compensation.


The latest productivity measures for industries presented here and for those in other sectors are available

on the BLS Labor Productivity and Costs website at



*                                   Industry Productivity Hours Series Changes                        *

*                                                                                                     *

* Beginning with this news release, labor hours for service-providing and mining industries represent *

* hours worked. See Technical Note for more information about how hours worked are derived.           *



Service-Providing Industries: Output per hour increased in 2012 in 26 of the 53 industries studied. In

most of these industries, productivity rose as output growth was accompanied by declines or more

modest increases in hours. Three industries posted double-digit productivity gains as a result: radio

broadcasting; wireless telecommunications carriers; and photofinishing.


In a few industries, productivity rose despite declining output, as hours were reduced even more than

output: natural gas distribution; newspaper publishers; video tape and disc rental; photography studios,

portrait; and funeral homes and funeral services.


Productivity and cost measures are published in this release for the first time for four industries: water,

sewage and other systems (NAICS 2213); offices of certified public accountants (NAICS 541211); golf

courses and country clubs (NAICS 71391); and fitness and recreational sports centers (NAICS 71394).

Productivity rose in 2012 in offices of certified public accountants and in golf courses and country clubs,

but fell in water, sewage and other systems and in fitness and recreational sports centers.


Mining Industries: Productivity rose in the overall mining sector in 2012, as output increased slightly

more than hours. Output per hour also increased in two of the five detailed mining industries studied.

Productivity rose sharply in support activities for mining, and also increased in nonmetallic mineral

mining and quarrying. In both industries the gains in productivity offset increases in hourly

compensation, reducing unit labor costs.


Largest Industries: Among the 20 largest service-providing and mining industries studied, output rose

in all eight of the industries with productivity increases, led by support activites for mining, where

strong output growth outpaced the increase in hours. Productivity fell the most in janitorial services,

where modest output growth was met with a greater increase in hours. Unit labor costs increased in all

except two of the industries: support activities for mining and wired telecommunications carriers.


Long-Term Trends: More industries posted productivity growth over the longer term than in 2012.

Between 1987 and 2012 labor productivity increased in 79 percent of the detailed service-providing and

mining industries studied, while between 2007 and 2012 it increased in 60 percent of the industries. In

contrast, in 2012 productivity rose in less than half of the industries and productivity performance was

more widely distributed: 26 percent of industries posted productivity declines of 4.0 percent or greater,

while 24 percent posted productivity gains of 4.1 percent or more.


AND MUCH MORE...including TABLES....



This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.










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