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Workforce Productivity: Who Gets the Most from its Employees

Unemployment hit 8.9 percent in April and some predict that number could climb over 10 percent in 2009 as major companies further streamline operations to combat the recession. While some industries are more labor intensive than others, employee productivity is a key measure that managers and investors look at when evaluating performance.

Using data from ThomsonReuters, we took a look at how much revenue and profit S&P 500 companies generated per employee over the past 12 months (Q2 2008 - Q1 2009), compared within each of the S&P 500’s sectors. Note: because many banks report revenue as interest income and not sales on their financials, we have excluded them from this analysis for a more apples-to-apples comparison.

Host Hotels and Ventas , two REITs lead the S&P 500 in employee productivity. The next few pages look at which companies in each sector are squeezing the most (and least) out of their shrinking workforces. Keep in mind that employee productivity is only one metric in evaluating companies and varies widely between industries.

Sector by Sector Best and Worst

S&P 500 Energy Sector:

  • Avg revenue per employee: $2,056,928
  • Avg net income per employee: $107,454
  • Top 10 revenue per employee
  • Bottom 10 revenue per employee:

Financials

S&P 500 Financials Sector (excludes banks due to varied accounting methods)

  • Avg revenue per employee: $1,860,156
  • Avg net income per employee: $118,426
  • Top 10 revenue per employee:
  • Bottom 10 revenue per employee:

Utilities & Telecoms

S&P 500 Utilities Sector:

  • Avg revenue per employee: $1,042,923
  • Avg net income per employee: $63,249

S&P 500 Telecom Sector:

  • Avg revenue per employee: $523,716
  • Avg net income per employee: $60,792
  • Top 10 revenue per employee (Utilities & Telecoms):
  • Bottom 10 revenue per employee (Utilities & Telecoms):

Healthcare

S&P 500 Healthcare Sector:

  • Avg revenue per employee: $804,268
  • Avg net income per employee: $63,089
  • Top 10 revenue per employee:
  • Bottom 10 revenue per employee:

Consumer Staples

S&P 500 Consumer Staples Sector:

  • Avg revenue per employee: $565,504
  • Avg net income per employee: $40,755
  • Top 10 revenue per employee:
  • Bottom 10 revenue per employee:

Materials

S&P 500 Materials Sector:

  • Avg revenue per employee: $537,779
  • Avg net income per employee: $17,767
  • Top 10 revenue per employee:
  • Bottom 10 revenue per employee:

Technology

S&P 500 Tech Sector:

  • Avg revenue per employee: $388,665
  • Avg net income per employee: $7,498
  • Top 10 revenue per employee:
  • Bottom 10 revenue per employee:

Consumer Discretionary

S&P 500 Consumer Discretionary Sector:

  • Avg revenue per employee: $377,192
  • Avg net income per employee: ($19,124) loss
  • Top 10 revenue per employee:
  • Bottom 10 revenue per employee:

Industrials


S&P 500 Industrials Sector:

  • Avg revenue per employee: $307,701
  • Avg net income per employee: $18,726
  • Top 10 revenue per employee:
  • Bottom 10 revenue per employee: