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Economic News Release

Productivity and Costs by Industry: Selected Service-Providing and Mining Industries, 2006

Historical, technical                                USDL 08-0687
  information:   (202) 691-5618                      FOR RELEASE: 10:00 a.m. EDT
Media contact:   (202) 691-5902                      Wednesday, May 21, 2008

                          PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS BY INDUSTRY:

      Labor productivity, defined as output per hour, rose in nearly two-
thirds of the measured service-providing and mining industries in 2006, about 
the same proportion as in 2005.  Output rose in 66 percent of the industries, 
while labor hours increased in 59 percent. Unit labor costs fell in 
approximately 20 percent of the industries in 2006. //QCT Resilio Test 9/28/2023//   
      Over the period 1987 to 2006, labor productivity increased in 86 percent 
of the industries, significantly more than in 2006. Output grew in 91 percent, 
while hours increased in 66 percent of the industries.  Unit labor costs fell in 
one quarter of the industries over the longer period.
      Productivity data for industries in manufacturing, retail trade, 
wholesale trade, and food services and drinking places are published in separate 
releases that can be accessed online at

2005-2006 change

      In 2006, output per hour increased in 27 of the 40 detailed service-
providing industries and in one of the 4 detailed mining industries studied. 
(See table 1.)  Three industries recorded double-digit productivity growth: 
video tape and disc rental (NAICS 53223), 22.4 percent; wireless 
telecommunications carriers (NAICS 5172), 14.1 percent; and truck, trailer, and 
RV rental and leasing (NAICS 53212), 11.8 percent.  
      Productivity fell the most in amusement and theme parks (NAICS 71311), 
11.1 percent, and in refrigerated warehousing and storage (NAICS 49312), 9.2 
percent. Labor productivity fell 9.1 percent in the mining sector (NAICS 21) and 
7.1 percent in coal mining (NAICS 2121).  (Results for the mining sector as a 
whole are not consistent with changes in the detailed mining industries shown in 
table 1, because BLS does not publish measures for every detailed mining 

      Unit labor costs, which reflect hourly compensation and productivity, 
rose in more than three-fourths of the service-providing industries in 2006, and 
in all of the mining industries.  The biggest increases in unit labor costs 
occurred in mining, led by a 19.2 percent increase in oil and gas extraction 
(NAICS 211).  Among the service-providing industries, the biggest increase 
occurred in hair, nail, and skin care services (NAICS 81211), 10.0 percent.  
      Several service-providing industries reduced their unit labor costs in 
2006. Wireless telecommunications carriers (NAICS 5172) and video tape and disc 
rental (NAICS 53223) recorded unit labor cost reductions of 19.8 and 8.2 
percent, respectively. These were the two industries where productivity 
increased the most. 

Long-term trends

      Between 1987 and 2006, labor productivity increased in 34 of the 40 
detailed service-providing industries and in all of the covered mining 
industries.  Software publishers (NAICS 5112) recorded the greatest productivity 
growth over the period, 16.2 percent per year on average, followed by wireless 
telecommunications carriers (NAICS 5172), with growth of 9.7 percent.  Labor 
productivity declined in more of the measured service-providing and mining 
industries in 2006 than over the longer-term period.

      Unit labor costs increased in three-quarters of the detailed service-
providing industries and in all but one mining industry from 1987 to 2006.  Unit 
labor costs grew most rapidly in oil and gas extraction (NAICS 211), 5.8 percent 
per year on average.  The most rapid declines in unit labor costs occurred in 
the two industries with the fastest productivity growth, software publishers 
(NAICS 5112) and wireless telecommunications carriers (NAICS 5172), 9.4 and 6.4 
percent, respectively.

New Industries

      Productivity and cost measures for three new industries are presented 
here for the first time: warehousing and storage (NAICS 493), general 
warehousing and storage (NAICS 49311), and refrigerated warehousing and storage 
(NAICS 49312).  Measures for these new industries were constructed using 
standard BLS methods as described in the Technical Note.  Output measures for 
the warehousing and storage industries are based on detailed annual receipts 
data collected by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, deflated with BLS producer 
price indexes (PPIs).  The labor hours measures reflect data from the BLS 
Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey and the Current Population Survey 
(CPS). The labor productivity measures for these industries begin in 1992.


      The measures in this news release incorporate current data from the 
Census Bureauís 2006 Service Annual Survey and other sources.  Measures in this 
release replace the mining and service industry series published in the news 
release Productivity and Costs by Industry: Selected Service-Providing and 
Mining Industries, 2005 (released June 8, 2007), and in table 50 of the Monthly 
Labor Review.  All of the measures for 2006 in this release are preliminary and 
subject to revision.
      The industries included in this release are classified according to the 
2002 NAICS. Industry productivity measures will be classified according to the 
2007 NAICS in 2009, with the publication of data for 2007.
Additional Information

      Industry productivity and related indexes and rates of change can be 
accessed electronically by visiting the Labor Productivity and Costs web site at  Data on industry employment, hours, labor 
compensation, value of production, and the implicit price deflator for output 
for these industries are available upon request by calling the Division of 
Industry Productivity Studies (202-691-5618) or by sending a request by e-mail 
to While the index numbers and rates of change reported by BLS 
in this news release are rounded to one decimal place, all industry productivity 
percent changes are calculated using index numbers to three decimal places.
      Material in this report is in the public domain and, with appropriate 
credit, may be used without permission. Information in this report will be made 
available to sensory-impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-
5618; TDD message referral phone number: 1-800-877-8339.

Last Modified Date: September 28, 2023