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Labor productivity rose in single- and multi-family residential construction during pandemic

October 06, 2022

Labor productivity rose in both residential construction industries over the 2019–21 period. In single-family residential construction, productivity increased by an annual average of 12.4 percent, as output growth (+13.8 percent) outpaced growth in hours worked (+1.3 percent). In multiple-family residential construction, productivity rose by an average of 7.5 percent, as output grew faster (+11.1 percent) than hours worked (+3.4 percent).

Annual percent changes in labor productivity, output, and hours worked in residential construction industries, selected periods
Residential construction industry and period Productivity Output Hours worked

Single-family, 2007–19

-1.4% -3.2% -1.9%

Single-family, 2019–21

12.4 13.8 1.3

Multiple-family, 2007–19

-1.7 -0.4 1.3

Multiple-family, 2019–21

7.5 11.1 3.4

In both industries, annual average productivity growth rates improved in 2019–21 compared with 2007–19. Output declined on average from 2007–19. During the COVID-19 pandemic years, however, the labor productivity improvements in single-family and multiple-family residential construction resulted from substantial output growth. In single-family residential construction, productivity declined on average over the 2007–19 period, as output fell (−3.2 percent) faster than hours worked (−1.9 percent). These trends reversed during the 2019–21 period, leading to the 12.4-percent annual growth in productivity.

In multiple-family residential construction, productivity declined on average from 2007 to 2019, as output fell (−0.4 percent), and hours worked increased (+1.3 percent). While hours worked continued to rise over the 2019–21 period, output surged ahead, leading to annual productivity growth of 7.5 percent.

These data are from the Productivity program and are subject to revision. See Construction Labor Productivity to learn more. Labor productivity, or output per hour, is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of hours worked for all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor productivity rose in single- and multi-family residential construction during pandemic at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2022/labor-productivity-rose-in-single-and-multi-family-residential-construction-during-pandemic.htm (visited September 23, 2023).

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