U.S. auto industry boosts productivity in 1990s

October 28, 1999

The motor vehicles and equipment industry has posted notable gains in labor productivity during the current economic expansion. In three segments of the industry—motor vehicle assembly, parts manufacturing, and automotive stampings—labor productivity grew by at least 3 percent per year from 1991 to 1998.

Output per hour, selected industries, 1987-98
[Chart data—TXT]

Labor productivity in motor vehicle assembly—as measured by output per hour—increased by 3.4 percent per year between 1991 and 1998. During the same period, output per hour in parts manufacturing rose by 3.1 percent annually, on average. In the automotive stampings industry, productivity climbed by 5.4 percent per year.

Note that measures of labor productivity reflect the joint effects of many influences, including changes in technology, capital investment, the level of output, capacity utilization, and the characteristics and effort of the workforce.

These data are a product of the BLS Industry Productivity program. Data are subject to revision. Find out more in Chapter 1 of Report on the American Workforce 1999.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, U.S. auto industry boosts productivity in 1990s on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/oct/wk4/art04.htm (visited September 28, 2016).


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