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May, 1986, Vol. 109, No. 5
Trends of labor productivity
in metal stamping industries
Labor productivity, or output per employee hour, in the metal stamping industry rose at an average annual rate of 1 percent over the two decades, 1963-83.1 Output rose at about the same rate, while employee hours remained on balance unchanged over the period. Between 1963 and 1973, productivity advanced more rapidly (1.2 percent a year) than over the following decade (0.7 percent). The earlier annual improvement was associated with fairly strong output and employment gains, while the subsequent advance resulted from a declining trend in output being exceeded by a declining trend in employment. The longer term productivity performance in terms of average annual rates of change was much lower than for all manufacturing.
|Metal stampings||All manufacturing|
The productivity trend for the 20-year period examined here was marked by much volatility. In almost half of the 20 years, productivity declined, although by small magnitudes. These declines were almost invariably associated with larger drops in output than in employee hoursa pattern frequently encountered in durables manufacturing industries during business slumps. In only 7 years of the period did productivity rise because output gains topped employee hour increases. All these years occurred during an expansionary phase of the business cycle (table 1).
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1 The metal stamping industries discussed in this article include automotive metal stampings, designated by the Office of Management and Budget as
SIC 3465 in the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, 1972; and metal
stampings, not elsewhere classified (nonautomotive metal stampings), as SIC 3469. In addition to
SIC 3465 and SIC 3469, the measures presented with this article also include crowns and closures
(SIC 3466). Automotive stampings consist of such products as hubs, trim, and other parts of motor vehicles. Nonautomotive stampings include job stampings, household appliance housings and parts, and other porcelain enameled products; and cooking and other kitchen utensils. Crowns and closures include bottle caps made of stamped metal, and jar crowns, similarly made.
Average annual rates shown in the text and tables are based on the linear least square trend of the logarithms of the index numbers. The indexes for productivity and related variables will be updated annually, and published in the annual BLS bulletin, Productivity Measures for Selected Industries.
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