Productivity and Costs by Industry: Wholesale Trade, Retail Trade, and Food Services and Drinking Places Industries, 2009

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                     PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS BY INDUSTRY: WHOLESALE TRADE, RETAIL 
                    TRADE, AND FOOD SERVICES AND DRINKING PLACES INDUSTRIES, 2008

	Labor productivity - defined as output per hour - fell in wholesale trade, retail trade, and 
food services and drinking places in 2008 as follows:

                            -0.3 percent in wholesale trade
                            -1.8 percent in retail trade and  
                            -0.7 percent in food services and drinking places.			
		
      Both output and hours declined in each of these sectors in 2008.  Productivity fell in 26 
of the 50 detailed industries studied.  (See table 1.)  Unit labor costs rose in 29 of the detailed 
industries and in all three sectors. //PRIN1 RHEL OS April 2020 Test 04062020//

      Over the longer term, output per hour increased at the following average annual rates 
between 1987 and 2008:
                             3.0 percent in wholesale trade
                             3.0 percent in retail trade and  
                             0.6 percent in food services and drinking places.	

	Output and hours grew in all three sectors over the period.  Productivity increased in 46 
of the 50 detailed industries.  (See table 2.)  Unit labor costs rose in 32 of the 50 industries and in 
each of the three sectors between 1987 and 2008.

2007-2008 change

	Wholesale trade:  Labor productivity fell 0.3 percent as output declined 0.8 percent and 
hours declined 0.5 percent.  Output per hour fell in 10 of the 19 detailed wholesale trade 
industries in 2008.  Commercial equipment wholesalers (NAICS 4234) experienced the largest 
labor productivity gain, 9.2 percent, while furniture and home furnishing wholesalers (NAICS 
4232) recorded the largest decline, 15.9 percent.  The largest employer in the wholesale trade 
sector, electronic markets and agents and brokers (NAICS 4251), experienced a productivity 
decline of 2.6 percent. Unit labor costs rose in 13 of the 19 detailed industries, and grew 1.9 
percent in the wholesale trade sector overall.

	Retail trade: Labor productivity fell 1.8 percent as output declined 3.6 percent and hours 
decreased 1.8 percent.  Output per hour fell in 15 of the 27 retail trade industries in 2008.  Lawn 
and garden equipment and supplies stores (NAICS 4442) had the largest labor productivity gain, 
20.8 percent, while automotive dealers (NAICS 4411) posted the largest decline, 9.3 percent.  
Grocery stores (NAICS 4451), the largest employer among the retail trade industries, saw a 1.4 
percent decline in productivity in 2008.  Unit labor costs rose in 13 of the 27 detailed industries, 
and rose 2.4 percent in the retail trade sector overall.

	Food services and drinking places:  Labor productivity fell 0.7 percent as output and 
hours fell 1.0 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.  Output per hour grew in three of the four 
detailed industries in 2008 including the largest employer, full-service restaurants (NAICS 7221).  
Drinking places (NAICS 7224) experienced the largest labor productivity increase, 4.1 percent, 
while limited-service eating places (NAICS 7222) recorded the only decline, -3.1 percent.  Unit 
labor costs rose in three of the four detailed industries and rose 3.7 percent in the food services 
and drinking places overall. 

Long-term trends

	Wholesale trade:  Labor productivity rose 3.0 percent per year, on average, between 1987 
and 2008.  Output grew 3.7 percent per year and hours increased 0.7 percent per year.  Labor 
productivity rose in 16 of the 19 detailed industries.  Commercial equipment wholesalers 
(NAICS 4234) and electric goods wholesalers (NAICS 4236) posted the highest average growth 
in output per hour, 14.9 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively.  Unit labor costs rose in 17 of the 
19 detailed industries between 1987 and 2008, and grew at an average annual rate of 1.1 percent 
per year overall in the wholesale trade sector.

	Retail trade: Labor productivity grew 3.0 percent per year, on average, between 1987 and 
2008, while output and hours increased 3.7 percent and 0.6 percent per year, respectively.  Labor 
productivity grew in all but one of the detailed industries in this period.  Electronics and 
appliance stores (NAICS 4431) and electronic shopping and mail-order houses (NAICS 4541) 
experienced the fastest labor productivity growth, 13.5 percent and 11.2 percent per year, 
respectively.  Unit labor costs fell in 14 of the 27 detailed industries in retail trade, but rose 0.1 
percent per year, on average, in the retail trade sector overall.

	Food services and drinking places:  Labor productivity increased at an average annual rate 
of 0.6 percent per year between 1987 and 2008, as output and hours increased 2.2 percent and 
1.6 percent, respectively.  Labor productivity rose in the four detailed food services and drinking 
places industries during the period.  Unit labor costs rose in all four industries and rose 3.2 
percent per year, on average, in food services and drinking places overall.

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Last Modified Date: April 06, 2020