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Labor productivity up in 24 of 30 selected service-providing industries in 2021

July 08, 2022

Labor productivity rose in 24 of 30 selected service-providing industries from 2020 to 2021. Output grew in 23 of the 24 industries with an increase in productivity (natural gas distribution being the only exception, at −0.3 percent) and hours worked rose in 13 of the 24 industries.

Productivity rose more than 25 percent in travel arrangement and reservation services (136.8 percent), amusement parks and arcades (87.4 percent), air transportation (61.8 percent), and full-service restaurants (25.3 percent) in 2021. In all 4 of those industries, output grew more than 44 percent.

Percent change in labor productivity, output, and hours worked in selected service-providing industries, 2020 to 2021
Industry Labor productivity Output Hours worked

Travel arrangement and reservation services

136.8% 91.6% -19.1%

Amusement parks and arcades

87.4 121.7 18.3

Air transportation

61.8 71.3 5.9

Full-service restaurants

25.3 44.2 15.1

Cable and other subscription programming

20.4 8.8 -9.7

Radio and television broadcasting

18.0 8.3 -8.2

Wireless telecommunications carriers

13.2 7.7 -4.8

Periodical publishers

13.1 3.5 -8.5

Commercial banking

11.7 9.1 -2.3

Software publishers

9.9 16.8 6.3

Gambling industries

8.7 37.2 26.2

General freight trucking, local

7.1 20.0 12.0

Newspaper publishers

6.9 2.4 -4.2

Accounting and bookkeeping services

6.1 9.0 2.7

Drycleaning and laundry services

5.2 3.2 -1.9

Limited-service eating places

5.1 13.3 7.8

Engineering services

4.6 7.8 3.1

Line-haul railroads

3.9 2.6 -1.2

Truck, trailer, and RV rental and leasing

3.8 9.3 5.3

Medical and diagnostic laboratories

3.7 15.3 11.2

Specialized freight trucking

2.9 8.4 5.3

Power generation and supply

2.7 1.8 -0.9

Water, sewage and other systems

1.6 3.5 1.9

Natural gas distribution

1.0 -0.3 -1.3

Gambling industries had the greatest increase in hours worked in 2021, at 26.2 percent, while travel arrangement and reservation services had the largest decline in hours worked, at 19.1 percent.

6 of the 30 selected service-providing industries did not have an increase in labor productivity from 2020 to 2021. Output grew in 4 of these 6 industries, while hours worked rose in 5 of the 6 industries.

Percent change in labor productivity, output, and hours worked in selected service-providing industries, 2020 to 2021
Industry Labor productivity Output Hours worked

Wired telecommunications carriers

0.0% -0.2% -0.2%

Couriers and messengers

-0.1 10.4 10.5

General freight trucking, long-distance

-2.4 4.7 7.3

Automotive repair and maintenance

-2.8 4.8 7.8

Warehousing and storage

-3.1 12.2 15.8

Postal service

-3.6 -2.3 1.4

The largest decreases occurred in postal service, at 3.6 percent, followed by warehousing and storage (3.1 percent) and automotive repair and maintenance (2.8 percent) in 2021.

These data are from the Productivity program. To learn more, see "Productivity and Costs by Industry: Selected Service-Providing Industries — 2021." We also have more charts on productivity and costs in service-providing industries.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor productivity up in 24 of 30 selected service-providing industries in 2021 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2022/labor-productivity-up-in-24-of-30-selected-service-providing-industries-in-2021.htm (visited November 28, 2022).