U.S. had largest productivity gains in manufacturing in 1999

April 06, 2001

Revised data from BLS show that the United States' gain in manufacturing labor productivity of 6.6 percent was the highest in 1999 of 11 industrialized countries. This was a slightly higher rate of productivity growth than estimated originally, and represented a small extension of the lead.

Percent change in manufacturing output per hour, by country, revised, 1999
[Chart data—TXT]

Productivity growth in the United Kingdom was 4.5 percent, while France registered a growth rate of 4.0 percent. Other countries with notable increases in manufacturing output per hour were Japan and Sweden. Productivity in the manufacturing sector rose by 3.8 percent in Japan and 3.0 percent in Sweden. All of these, except France, also reflected small upward revisions to original estimates. The estimate for France was unchanged.

These data are a product of the BLS Foreign Labor Statistics program. Data are subject to revision. This article updates an item that appeared in The Editor’s Desk last year: "U.S. led factory productivity gains in 1999". Additional information is available in "International Comparisons of Manufacturing Productivity and Unit Labor Cost Trends, Revised Data for 1999," news release USDL 01-78.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, U.S. had largest productivity gains in manufacturing in 1999 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2001/apr/wk1/art05.htm (visited September 28, 2016).


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