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February 1989, Vol. 112, No. 2
Productivity in the carburetors, pistons, and valves industry
J. W. Ferris and V. L. Klarquist
Productivity in the carburetors, pistons, and valves industry, as measured by output per employee hour, declined slightly at an average annual rate of 0.4 percent from 1972 to 1986.1 This was below the rate for all manufacturing, which grew at a rate of 2.4 percent per year during the same period. The decline in productivity reflected a small decrease in output of 0.1 percent per year and a rise in employee hours of 0.3 percent per year. Adversely affecting the industry were cyclical downturns in the economy, which resulted in sizable drops in production in several years and corresponding declines in productivity.
The productivity trends in the industry can be divided into two distinct periods. From 1972 to 1980, productivity declined at an average annual rate of 3.1 percent. Output fell 1.3 percent per year, while hours rose 1.9 percent per year. In the two recessions which occurred during this period, output dropped sharply. In the recession year of 1974, output fell 14.3 percent and hours decreased 4.7 percent. This resulted in a productivity falloff of 10.0 percent. In the recession year of 1980, a 17.1-percent decrease in output and a 13.2-percent decline in hours led to a 4.5-percent drop in industry productivity.
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1 The carburetors, pistons, and valves industry is designated by the Office of Management and Budget as SIC 3592 in the Standard Industrial Classification manual, 1987. This industry comprises establishments engaged primarily in the manufacture of carburetors, pistons, piston rings, and engine intake and exhaust valves.
Average annual rates mentioned in the text and tables are based on the linear least squares trend of the logarithms of the index numbers. The indexes for productivity and related variables are updated annually and published in Productivity Measures for Selected Industries and Government Services, Bulletin 2296 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 1987).
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