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December 1982, Vol. 105, No. 12
Productivity increased in 1981
in most industries measured
Arthur S. Herman
Productivity, as measured by output per employee hour, increased in 1981 in more than half of the industries for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics regularly publishes data. The growth in industry productivity was consistent with the gain in the nonfarm business sector of the economy, which grew 1.4 percent. In 1980, however, productivity declined in a majority of the measured industries.
Table 1 shows productivity trends in industries measured by the Bureau and includes measures for additional industries: millwork, office furniture (including separate measures for wood office furniture and metal office furniture), cosmetics, hand and edge tools, farm and garden machinery (including separate measures for farm machinery and equipment, and lawn and garden equipment), pumps and compressors (including separate measures for pumps and pumping equipment and air and gas compressors), and commercial banking.1
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1 For a detailed report on these industries, see the following Monthly Labor Review articles: Jack Veigle and Horst Brand, "Millwork industry shows slow growth in productivity," September 1982, pp. 21-26; Arthur S. Herman and John W. Ferris, "Productivity growth average in farm machinery manufacturing," October 1982, pp. 6-10; and Mark K. Farris and James D. York, "Hand and edge tools industry experiences slow rise in productivity," October 1982, pp. 11-14. Articles on the cosmetics, office furniture, pumps and compressors, and commercial banking industries appear elsewhere in this issue.
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