Skip to content
Subscriber Only

U.S. Productivity Jumps Most Since 2009 as Hours Worked Plunge

Construction At The Avangrid Renewables La Joya Wind Farm
Photographer: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg
Updated on

Productivity in the U.S. rose in the second quarter by the most in 11 years as hours worked slumped more than output during the economic shutdown to contain the coronavirus.

Nonfarm business employee output per hour increased at a 7.3% annualized rate from April through June, the biggest gain since the first quarter of 2009, after declining at a revised 0.3% pace in the first quarter, according to Labor Department figures Friday. The second-quarter pace was faster than the 1.5% projection in Bloomberg’s survey of economists. Unit labor costs surged 12.2% following a revised 9.8% increase.