Productivity and Costs by Industry: Manufacturing Industries, 2011
Last Modified Date: March 21, 2013
For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, March 21, 2013 USDL-13-0478
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PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS BY INDUSTRY:
MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES, 2011
Labor productivity -- defined as output per hour -- rose in 63 percent of detailed manufacturing
industries in 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was down from 78 percent
in 2010. Unit labor costs, which reflect the total labor costs required to produce a unit of output,
declined in 49 percent of the industries in 2011 compared to 71 percent in 2010. Two-thirds of the
industries with productivity increases posted declines in unit labor costs.
Fewer industries recorded gains in output in 2011 than in the previous year, while more industries posted
gains in hours. (See table 1.) Output rose in 54 of the 86 NAICS 4-digit manufacturing
industries in 2011, down from 60 industries in 2010. Hours rose in 51 of the industries in 2011 compared
to 41 in 2010. Hours rose in more industries in 2011 than in any year since 1997.
Almost 70 percent of industries with productivity growth had gains greater than 2.5 percent.
Productivity rose 10 percent or more in 5 industries: audio and video equipment, accessories and other
apparel, leather and hide tanning and finishing, textile furnishings mills, and electric lighting equipment.
Industry labor productivity measures are updated and revised as new data become available. The latest
industry productivity data for manufacturing industries and industries in other sectors are available on
the BLS Industry Labor Productivity and Costs website at www.bls.gov/lpc/iprprodydata.htm.
A larger number of the detailed industries posted productivity gains over the 1987-2011 period than in
2011. Between 1987 and 2011, labor productivity increased in 95 percent of the industries,
with 86 percent recording gains from 0.1 to 4.0 percent. In 2011, industry productivity performance was
more evenly distributed, with slightly over one-third of industries posting productivity declines.
Labor productivity increased in 13 of the 21 NAICS 3-digit manufacturing industries in 2011, as output
increased in 16 industries and hours fell in 10. Productivity rose fastest in textile product mills, where output
increased despite a drop in hours. Only 3 of the 21 industries registered greater productivity growth, or
smaller productivity declines, than in the previous year.
Unit labor costs fell in 10 of the 21 NAICS 3-digit industries. Unit labor costs declined more frequently
in industries where productivity rose, as productivity gains offset increases in hourly compensation. Unit
labor costs fell in 9 of the 13 industries where productivity rose.
The measures in this news release incorporate 2011 data and revisions to 2010 data from the Annual
Survey of Manufactures (ASM) published by the Census Bureau and the annual benchmark revision of
the BLS Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey published in February 2013. All of the measures
for 2011 in this release are preliminary and subject to revision.
The industries included in this news release are classified according to the 2007 NAICS. While the rates
of change reported by BLS in this release are rounded to one decimal place, all percent changes are
calculated using index numbers rounded to three decimal places.
Year-to-year movements in industry productivity may be erratic, particularly in smaller industries. The
annual measures based on sample data may differ from measures generated by a census of
establishments in the industry. Annual changes in an industry’s output and use of labor may reflect
cyclical changes in the economy as well as long-term trends. As a result, long-term productivity trends
tend to be more reliable indicators of industry performance than year-to-year changes.
More detailed data, including industry productivity and related indexes; rates of change; and levels of
industry employment, hours, nominal value of production, and labor compensation are available on the
BLS Labor Productivity and Costs website at www.bls.gov/lpc. Additional information can be obtained
by calling the Division of Industry Productivity Studies (202-691-5618) or by sending a request by
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