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October 1982, Vol. 105, No. 10
Productivity growth average
in farm machinery manufacturing
Arthur S. Herman and John W. Ferris
Productivity, as measured by output per employee hour, in farm machinery manufacturing1 was about the same as the average for all manufacturing industries over the 1958-80 period. Growth was aided by numerically controlled machine tools, automatic welding, computerized manufacturing, industrial robots, and computerized automatic warehouses, but was partially offset by sharp declines in demand. Almost every decline in productivity during the period studied can be associated with a drop in output, which, in turn, usually coincides with downturns in the economy. During the 22-year period, productivity in the farm machinery industry grew at a rate of 2.6 percent a year, compared with 2.7 percent per year for all manufacturing industries; 1.9 percent for construction machinery, an industry which uses similar manufacturing techniques; and 3.2 percent for motor vehicles, another similar industry.
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1 Average annual rates of change are based on the linear least squares trends of the logarithms of the index numbers. The farm machinery and equipment industry is designated industry 352 in the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, 1972 Edition, issued by the Office of Management and Budget. The industry comprises establishments primary engaged in the manufacture of farm machinery and equipment, and garden tractors and lawn and garden equipment. A technical note describing the indexes is available from the Office of Productivity and Technology, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, D.C. 20212. The indexes for this industry will be updated and included in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' annual bulletin, Productivity Measures for Selected Industries.
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