Long-term gains in mining productivity

September 27, 2004

Over the 1990-99 period, productivity, defined as output per hour, increased in all of the mining industries measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Average annual percent changes in output per hour, selected mining industries, 1990-99
[Chart data—TXT]

The largest increases in productivity were in gold and silver ores, 5.6 percent per year, and bituminous coal and lignite mining, 5.5 percent per year. The smallest increase was 0.3 percent per year, in both copper ores and crushed and broken stone.

Output rose in only two of the five mining industries in the chart in the 1990-99 period. The industries with gains in output were gold and silver ores and crushed and broken stone.

In four of the five mining industries in the chart, employee hours declined between 1990 and 1999. The exception was crushed and broken stone.

This information is from the Industry Productivity Program. Data are subject to revision. Industries discussed in this article are at the 3-digit Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) level. Additional information is available from "Productivity and Costs: Service-Producing and Mining Industries, 1990-99" news release USDL 01-167.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Long-term gains in mining productivity on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2001/june/wk3/art03.htm (visited September 25, 2016).


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